Tomorrow, celebrities, family members, teachers and youth workers will gather at the Palladium in London to honour the achievements of young people who have made a difference in their own lives and the lives of others.
The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx and Homesense Awards is an annual ceremony that celebrates those who have worked alongside the Prince's Trust on training programmes, community projects, to set up businesses and to develop their own futures.
Caitlin Connor, 22, is a member of the group Ayrshire Team 150, that is nominated for the Community Impact Award, which recognises those who have made a difference in their local community.
After a period of illness and unemployment, she joined the programme alongside 30 young people from Ayr, Kilwinning and Kilmarnock, and together they built a sensory garden for children on the autistic spectrum.
“The garden project was so much fun,” Connor said.
“It was also hard work…I obviously knew we were doing it for the kids, but it wasn’t until afterwards, seeing the kids out playing that you realise how much of an impact you’ve made, and you feel so good about yourself knowing you were a part of it.”
Jack Haxton, 21, learnt about the garden project as he was looking for work, but was initially nervous to sign up as he was shy to meet new people.
“I was unsure at first as I knew it was a team programme, and I’ve never really been great socially, and especially not in groups,” he said.
But after the programme he described feeling that he had “come out of his shell”.
“The garden project was amazing. Building a sensory garden for the autistic base at Doonfoot was pretty big for me personally because I’m autistic, so it was something quite close to my heart,” he added.
Connor and Haxton’s group, Ayrshire Team 150, is up against six other regional groups in competition for the Community Impact Award.
Other award categories are Young Achiever of the Year, Young Ambassador of the Year, Enterprise Award, Rising Star Award and Educational Achiever of the Year.
“I feel the Prince’s Trust has completely changed my life,” Connor said. “I just wish everyone out there who needs this could realise it, and have it change their lives as well.”
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