‘Prince’s Trust changed my life’

Josh King and HSBC area director Steve Atkins-Linnell PNL-151113-121326001
Josh King and HSBC area director Steve Atkins-Linnell PNL-151113-121326001

A young man from Hemel Hemsptead has been honoured at a royal awards ceremony after turning his life around with help from youth charity The Prince’s Trust.

Josh King, was named runner-up for the HSBC Breakthrough Award at The Prince’s Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success Awards, which took place in Stevenage last Wednesday.

The award recognises the progress of young people who have developed new skills to enable them to make positive steps in facing their challenges and stabilising their lives.

Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of one, and epilepsy at 14, day-to-day life for Josh, now aged 24, was a real struggle. His health issues were made all the more difficult by the fact that he is a carer for his father, who has multiple sclerosis.

Unemployed for five years, Josh felt his future was bleak and his confidence was at an all-time low.

Josh was referred to The Prince’s Trust Team programme, a 12-week personal development course that gives young people the skills and confidence to find work.

Josh then joined Make Your Mark, a four-week employability programme run by the trust and Marks & Spencer.

During his placement at the busy M&S store in Pinner, Josh’s confidence soared and he was popular with both staff and customers on the shop floor.

At the end of his placement, he was offered a 12-week contract, and he was given a permanent job soon after that.

Josh has now been in work for over nine months and is certain that would not have been the case without help of the Prince’s Trust.

Josh said: “Without the help and opportunities I’ve been given I’m certain that I’d still be unemployed. My life has completely changed.

“The Prince’s Trust helped me a lot. They helped me build up my confidence and now I am excited about the future.”