From education to employment

London South East Colleges’ Prince’s Trust Team wins Royal Award

London South East Colleges’ Prince’s Trust Team 23 has won the London and South East Dell EMC Community Impact award at The Prince’s Trust Awards. 

Eight of the College’s students were presented with their award at the London and South East ceremony in London earlier this week.

The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards honour the achievements of young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life, had a positive impact on their local community, as well as people who have played a part in supporting the work of The Trust.

Team 23s Story: When a group of young people from London South East Colleges met on The Prince’s Trust Team programme, they had no idea how much they would go on to achieve together. After realising that most of them shared a lived experience of chronic anxiety or depression, and that these conditions were affecting many others in their community, they decided enough was enough and chose to tackle the issue head on. 

As part of their team project, Team 23, along with their tutors Jane Myles and David Townsend, decided to set up a peer support group, where people affected by these issues can meet in local areas with a picnic and conversation starter cards. The idea is to encourage people to meet and share their stories with others who are facing similar challenges.

To raise awareness and funds, the team hosted a series of treasure hunt events, worked on a mural in a local skate part and fundraised for Friends of the Park’s peace garden. These activities also helped them to combat their own anxiety and confidence issues, as they got them speaking to members of the public. Everyone in the team was determined to show that young people can be responsible and creative, all while doing something that benefits the community.

Together these young people have overcome significant barriers to transform their lives. In working together on their community projects, they have all developed their leadership skills, become more motivated and even more entrepreneurial.

The project has helped the enormously with their confidence – before the programme, most of them couldn’t imagine asking an employer for work experience, but that’s exactly what they went on to do. One of the young people was particularly pleased to secure experience at Le Meridien Hotel in London.

Speaking about their experience on the programme, one of the young people said: “Although life can hurt sometimes, I’ve learnt to stay strong, life is always worth it. I don’t think these things would have happened if I didn’t join The Prince’s Trust.”

Speaking at the awards, Danny Coffey from Team 23 said: “We had so much fun as part of Team 23 and I’m so glad I did the course. The peer support group that we started helped so many people and helped us improve our confidence too. We are so proud of the impact we made.”

As part of their commitment to support vulnerable children and help young people to fulfil their potential, TK Maxx and Homesense have been passionate supporters of the Prince’s Trust work since 2013.  They are major partners of the Get into Retail programme. This two to six week course develops young people’s skills in the retail sector, helping them to move forward with their lives.  TK Maxx and Homesense are proud to have reached a milestone of helping over 1,000 young people through the programme. They are also working to develop programmes for young offenders in their retail organisation.

In 2016 Homesense, part of the TK Maxx family, appointed The Prince’s Trust as their national charity partner. Homesense has helped over 1,900 young people who are at risk of underachieving at school through supporting The Prince’s Trust’s Achieve programme. Store associates and customers from across Homesense’s 74 stores are raising funds for the Trust through a number of in-store campaigns.

The Prince’s Trust helps young people to develop the confidence and skills they need to realise their ambitions, by supporting them with confidence, courses and careers. Three in four young people helped by The Prince’s Trust move into work, training or education. To date, The Trust has helped over 950,000 young people and supports over 100 more every day.

If you are between the ages of 16 and 18 and not sure where to go next, London South East Colleges runs three exciting 12-week Prince’s Trust programmes each year. These are aimed at developing confidence and team building skills to support people into further training and/or employment.

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