How The Prince’s Trust has inspired a group of incredibly talented youngsters

Emma Quinn

Emma has come a long way since deciding to launch her own business. Low self-confidence and poor mental wellbeing had previously caused Emma to doubt her own abilities, but with support from The Prince’s Trust she was able to realise her potential.  

"I had to leave my job as an intensive care nurse following a severe mental health breakdown. I researched self-employment, to work around my health needs and give back to causes close to my heart".

Emma showed incredible determination and self-belief to launch her art therapy-based business Piffy & Egg, after gaining support from The Prince's Trust Enterprise Programme in Newcastle. She also provides wellbeing consultancy for workplaces with her company E Clarity Coaching.

Emma now represents The Prince’s Trust as a Young Ambassador and is helping The Prince’s Trust launch The Great Create, a new fundraising campaign to support the mental wellbeing of young people in the UK.

"People can feel very isolated these days with so much of our lives spent online, so it’s important to have human contact. The Great Create parties also give people a mindful task that allows them to open up conversations with each other because they’re more relaxed."

At Emma’s The Great Create parties, she will be encouraging others to make Piffy & Egg’s signature copper craftwork pictures.

Gideon Buabeng

“Whilst being brought up in a loving home, I was still heavily influenced by the local street gang culture. I made a conscious decision to move away from gang life. I knew if I stayed, I would end up dead or in prison. I worked hard at school and secured a place on a Business Management Degree at university.”

During Gideon’s second year of study, he was ambushed by a large group of young men in a knife attack that left him with 14 stab wounds and in hospital fighting for his life.

Thanks to the care of the NHS, the support of his family and 5 months in bed, Gideon recovered well and returned to his job as a delivery driver. It was one of Gideon’s customers who recommend that he should contact The Prince’s Trust for further support and guidance.

“No matter what has happened in the past, working with a Prince’s Trust online mentor is like having a clean slate; there is no judgement, just ways to help you achieve your ambitions.”

Chantelle West

Chantelle started Sew Lit so that she could work flexibly around the needs of her daughter who is severely visually impaired.

"Sewing had been my therapy for a long time. Being a mother and a carer, I felt as if my identity had been lost. As well as keeping on top of hospital appointments and caring duties, I was also experiencing domestic violence. Sewing was a safe space where I could make something that had an end result, even when my external circumstances seemed to have no end.

"It’s hard to juggle everything as a mother and as my daughter’s full-time carer. I felt really boxed in. Employers wouldn’t allow me the flexibility I needed and I felt that starting my own business might allow me more balance. I was anxious but signed up to The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme. The programme was so invigorating. It was a challenge, but I love challenges.

“I started Sew Lit because, especially in my darkest times, I needed to see something beautiful and comforting.”

Jennifer Shaw

“I’ve not worked for 8 years which looks bad on my CV, and childcare is an issue as I have two children, one with autism and one with severe allergies. I once almost started a job but then my childcare fell through.

“I need to provide for my family. My children will always come first, but I’m an adult, and I want to participate in and give back to society.”

“During The Prince’s Trust course, we covered the basic skills of what you’d need to be a health and social care assistant and worked on CV writing. It was very accessible; they were patient and helped me work around times when my children needed looking after.”

“For other young people - especially young parents – who are struggling at the moment, definitely go to a charity like The Prince’s Trust and give their courses a try. Even if it’s short, it will make you proud that you’ve done it for yourself, and you’re helping set yourself up for life.”

Poppy Richards

Over the past few years, I’ve been diagnosed with BPD (borderline personality disorder) and have had a child, all of which have kept me from working.

“I already struggled before the lockdown but it made it more difficult, but luckily I found The Prince’s Trust through a charity for care leavers that supports me and have managed to get somewhere.”

Poppy successfully secured a job as a Care Assistant through The Prince’s Trust, which starts on the 22nd of July.

“I think the job will help my mental health because I’m looking forward to being busy and helping other people. I’m a real people’s person, I love building relationships, and when you help other people, it makes you feel so good about yourself, so it will have a really positive effect on me.”

Shirley Mann

“I was a full-time Mum with three children. I had lost my confidence and so I found it difficult to even consider applying for jobs.

“I felt that there were many barriers preventing me from getting back into work including the cost of childcare.  I have always wanted to get back into work, but I just didn’t feel I was able to and kept thinking it was just too much for me, both financially and emotionally.

After completing the programme, Shirley was offered and accepted a full-time six-month contract after existing NHS staff were moved into other positions, which meant more roles opened up for the young people at the end of the course.

“The programme has changed my life completely. I’ve regained my confidence with all the help and guidance that I’ve received from The Prince’s Trust. My plan now is to apply for a permanent job within the NHS.” Jazmin Lee

Jazmin lost her mum to cancer when she was seven and went to live with her grandmother. She taught her how to sew and it was through her she developed her love of fashion.

With the help of The Prince’s Trust’s Enterprise programme, Jazmin established Plus Equals, which aims to redefine what it means to be fashionable and plus size and she recently saw her designs on the runway at London Queer Fashion Show at the V&A Museum of Childhood.

However, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll on Jazmin, and on Plus Equals. “I’m barely hanging on. I’m not getting any orders anymore. People really want to support me, which is lovely, and they are buying cheaper items. I’m also doing a sample sale. But it’s not enough.”

“The Prince’s Trust is doing much more to support me than anyone else. No one else cares – it’s so easy to feel defeated. For some of us, it means the choice of food or no food. For others, it’s the choice of your business carrying on or not. Some business owners can’t even afford to eat. We can’t live off credit for much longer. To have someone fighting your corner means the world.”