The Prince of Wales joined celebrities at London’s Palladium today to celebrate the work of his own Prince’s Trust.
The awards recognise young people who have overcome major hurdles in their lives. Before the event, Prince met with celebrities who are raising awareness of the Trust’s achievements as ambassadors, such as Cheryl (formerly Cole), Tom Hardy, Mel C and Phillip Schofield.
Prince Charles is the founder and President of the Prince’s Trust, which gives disadvantaged young people the skills required to find a job. The organisation has helped over 870,000 young people since 1976, with over 75% of these young people moving into work or education. The awards celebrate the achievements of young people who have overcome issues such as abuse, addiction, homelessness and depression.
Former Girls Aloud singer, Cheryl praised the Prince for his work, “He’s a fantastic character and it’s a pleasure every time.”
Cheryl, who recently opened a young people’s centre in Newcastle, spoke of how Prince Charles helped get the project off the ground: “I had a big meeting and conversation with Charles about four or five years ago now about the opening of the centre. It’s fantastic that it’s finally come to fruition and I always love to meet him.”
She also said of the awards, “It’s inspiring for me because you get to see the people that are actually transforming in front of your eyes.” Cheryl was joined by a range of celebrities, from former footballer Thierry Henry, to Olivia Colman, who will star in The Crown as Elizabeth II, to Ant and Dec who hosted the ceremony.
Prince Charles, 69, seemed to enjoy chatting to the stars and was seen laughing with Ant and Dec, who have become friendly with the heir to the throne over the years. They hosted the documentary to celebrate 40 years of The Prince’s Trust in 2016.
The Prince also met with a number of Antarctic explorers who raised £800,000 for the Trust.
During the ceremony, which was streamed live on Facebook, Charles handed out a number of awards, including the educational Achiever of the Year Award, the Young Achiever of the Year Award and the Community Impact Award.
The Prince of Wales then made a speech, and referred to a letter he received from a young person who had benefited from the Trust. He remarked, “It makes more difference to me to get those sorts of letters, than you would ever believe possible.”
The Prince makes a speech at the #PrincesTrustAwards.
— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) March 6, 2018
Jewellers Mappin and Webb create the awards; Charles awarded them a royal warrant, as did The Queen.
Caitlin Connor, 22, is a member of the group Ayrshire Team 150, that won the Community Impact Award, which recognises those who have made a difference to their local communities.
After a period of unemployment, she joined the programme alongside 30 young people from Ayr, Kilwinning and Kilmarnock, together building a sensory garden for children on the autistic spectrum.
Caitlin said of the project: “The garden project was so much fun. 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.”
It is this sort of local, often unseen work of young people behind the scenes, that the Prince’s Trust aims to encourage and support.
Caitlin said the Prince’s Trust changed her life. “I just wish everyone out there who needs this could realise it, and have it change their lives as well,” she said.