Youngsters from across Oldbury have been recognised for turning their lives around at a special awards ceremony.
The group of eight young people, who were all on a Prince’s Trust self development programme run by City of Wolverhampton College, were presented with their certificates at St John’s Ambulance, Birchfield Lane, on Tuesday after overcoming personal circumstances to complete their course.
They were cheered on by Chief Superintendent Matthew Ward, local councillors, friends and family.
As part of the 12 week programme the students brightened up Tividale Park by planting flower beds, building bird and bat boxes and painting fences. They raised more than £500 for the work by organising bag packs at a local supermarket.
Many of the students will now be going on to complete apprenticeships or traineeships to develop their skills in their desired fields.
Student Jesse Miller, age 17, said: “The course has benefitted me greatly in terms of my job prospects and team working. I know that I can use the skills I have learnt from the programme in the future, whether it’s job applications, interviews or general life.”
Team Leader Jo Parke said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with each and every one of the team.
“It is easy to forget the reasons why each individual joined the team programme; many have experienced adversity in some form or simply made a few bad choices. Yet they still remain positive that change is possible.
“Each team member has seen the benefit of team working and stepping outside of their comfort zones to engage in new experiences. It has been wonderful to witness many of them stepping out of dark times into the light.
“The team leaders wish them all the very best as they step forward into the next stage of their lives and what will no doubt be much brighter futures.”
The Prince’s Trust Team programme gives unemployed young people aged 16 to 25 the chance to learn new skills and improve their confidence and self-esteem through a range of outdoor activities, community work and work experience.
During the programme the young people take part in an action-packed residential week, organise fundraising activities, carry out voluntary work in the community and benefit from two weeks’ work experience with a local employer.
Participants also get help with job searches, writing a CV and interview skills, and will gain national qualifications in first aid and food safety and certificates in employability, team work and community skills.
The programme was launched in 1990 and City of Wolverhampton College has been delivering courses across the Black Country and Shropshire since September 2000 with over 2000 local young people taking part.
The Prince’s Trust aims to support 58,000 vulnerable young people this year, giving them the confidence and skills to turn their lives around. Three in four young people on Prince’s Trust schemes move into work, education or training.
For more information on the Team programme contact The Prince’s Trust team at City of Wolverhampton College on 01902 836000. The college welcomes offers from individuals and businesses to support the delivery of the programme by offering work experience, mock interviews or voluntary projects.
For further information about The Prince’s Trust, visit http://www.princes-trust.org.uk or call 0800 842 842.