13 March 2014 by

The Prince’s Trust Awards Are Back! Here’s Why They’re So Important

This week saw the 10th annual The Princes Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success awards - an inspiring ceremony which recognises some of Britain's most disadvantaged young people. This year it will help 58,000 young people. Here's why they need The Trust...

The Prince’s Trust Awards Are Back! Here’s Why They’re So Important

Pixie Lott, Prince Charles, Joan Collins and more at the Prince's Trust awards [Getty]

Until a few short years ago, Emma Reilly describes her life as thus: “For most of the day, I would lie in bed. I was housebound for most of my teenage and adult life, and I barely spoke to anyone. I was a recluse, in every sense of the word. I was depressed. And I lost everything about myself.”

Crippled by severe mental health problems, Emma, 32, from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, had no choice but to watch helplessly as her life passed by - first her teenage years, then her twenties. Though she left to attend university, her illness meant it was short-lived - her tutors suggested she might not be able to finish her course, and within the year Emma was back living with her parents, isolated and feeling hopeless. For 12 years she lived on benefits.

“When you’ve been on benefits for 12 years you lose everything: your self-esteem, your confidence,” Emma says. “All I wanted was to somehow finally make the most of life. I was lacking in confidence, but all it took was one call to the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme. I’ve never looked back.”

The Prince’s Trust Awards Are Back! Here’s Why They’re So Important

Joan Collins, Laura Whitmore and Pixie Lott in their glad rags [Getty]

Like Emma, Naomi Spencer found her life spiralling out of control. After growing up in a deprived area of Birmingham, she had grown to accept a life of poverty.

“I was unemployed and had just become a single mum,” says Naomi, 28, from Birmingham. “I had no direction or idea of what I wanted to do in life. But I wanted more than anything to be a working mum and inspire my son to work hard too. I wanted to finally feel a part of society being a part of the working world.”

Both girls have since turned their lives around. Emma’s business Brave and the Bold and Naomi’s events company Candy Bubbles are going from strength to strength - and both girls put it down to the confidence that the Trust’s Enterprise Programme has instilled in them.

The Prince’s Trust Awards Are Back! Here’s Why They’re So Important

Time for a selfie! [Getty]

“Of course, they gave me a loan to start off my business,” Naomi continued. “But without the confidence I got from them, all of it would have failed. The Prince’s Trust have been there every step of the way, every time I needed help or support. Now, I’m finally living a life I love.”

Now, they’re using their experiences to help other young people achieve their dreams as Young Ambassadors for the Trust. And they’ve given us their top tips for success below…

EMMA’S TIPS FOR SUCCESS

1)   Do something that you’re absolutely passionate about. You will be working or thinking about working 24/7.

2)   Research constantly. You’ve got to be on the ball with this - look for patterns in the existing market, note changes, even note social media changes.

3)   Ask for help when you need it. Go to networking events and find people who have been there and done it, who can help you when you need it. I got a mentor being part of the trust and that’s been the best aspect of being part of the programme.

4)   Take a step back every now and then. You can get caught up in the day to day running of the business - you might get carried away with a decision that you’ve made. Sometimes you need to step back and evaluate whether it’s working or not. Listen to your customers.

5)   Give your customers a really great experience. Customer service is my number one priority with the business - never cut corners.

NAOMI’S TIPS FOR SUCCESS

1)   Mind your own business. Concentrate on your own business and building your own empire the better your business will be.

2)   Work from home. The less overheads we have, the more profit we have - and that’s what we’re all in it for.

3)   Have some ME time. If you don’t make time for yourself, you’ll never separate your business and personal life.

4)   Take risks. Whether it’s a good or bad outcome, you’ll learn from both. Don’t be afraid to hit rock bottom before you get to the top. Been there, done that.

5)   Delegate. With the right team around you delegation is the key. It frees you up to do the more important jobs.

6)   Enjoy yourself.


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