A young woman from Staffordshire has been named as the 200,000th participant to have been helped on The Prince’s Trust flagship programme, Team. The youth charity works in partnership with almost 120 organisations, including Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, to deliver the 12-week course, which helps unemployed young people gain the skills and confidence they need to find work.
Before starting the course, 19 year old Katie Ratcliffe, from Stafford, had been unemployed for several months, which impacted on her wellbeing, leaving her frustrated and lacking self-esteem.
“Being unemployed can be really tough, especially when you’re young. I went from being happy and having a routine to having nothing, and it really knocked my confidence. I kept applying for jobs but wasn’t being given a chance which left me really frustrated. It’s the bit about not having anything to get up for in the morning – I’d always had a plan and never thought I’d find myself in that position. It was really demoralising.”
Katie’s confidence began to return during Team and she developed strong leadership skills, often raising the morale of the group. This was particularly evident during the community project where Katie and her peers built a sensory community garden in Highfields, Stafford. At the end of the course, Katie, who had always wanted to work with animals, was successful in applying for a position at Sunnyside Kennels, based near Coven, Wolverhampton. The facility provides care for lost and abandoned dogs before reuniting them with owners or finding them new homes.
“I really enjoy my job and I’m much happier about my life. I would definitely encourage other young people out there who are struggling to get in touch with The Prince’s Trust. They can help you to regain your self-belief, become work-ready and ultimately land a job.”
Prince’s Trust Delivery Partner Manager James Hettihewa-Young,
“Katie demonstrated enthusiasm and dedication during Team and we are proud of what she and the group achieved. Often young people just need a chance to prove themselves, and Katie has grasped that opportunity with both hands.”
John O’Reilly, Director, The Prince’s Trust in Central England said,
“The Team programme is a fundamental part of our work at The Trust and it’s fantastic to pass the milestone of supporting 200,000 young people. Katie’s story is yet another example of how young people, with the right support, can overcome challenges to realise their potential and build a brighter future.”
The Team programme includes a residential activities week, vocational experience and workshops to help participants develop employability skills. Groups also undertake a community project which enables them to make a positive contribution in their local area. All of the young people who take part are supported by The Prince’s Trust to help them move into work, education or training. Research by The Trust revealed that every pound invested in the Team programme creates £2.99 in social value.