Two young Glaswegians have spoken how The Prince’s Trust has helped to turn their lives around as the charity marks a milestone in helping one million youths since it was set up over 40 years ago.

The Prince’s Trust was launched by HRH The Duke of Rothesay in 1976 and has since helped one million young people across the UK into jobs, education and training.

In the past year alone, the charity has helped 3000 young people in Glasgow with 85 per cent of them securing a job, enrolling into further education and training or taking up a voluntary role.

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Sophie Ross, who now works as an NHS call-handler in the city, told how the charity helped to get her life back on track after her mum sadly passed away in 2013.

She said: “In 2013 I lost my mum who was the centre of my world. It left me feeling so alone and I began to suffer from depression.

“The Prince’s Trust gave me my confidence back because they believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.

“I turned to unhealthy coping methods which I’m not proud of and I had no hope for the future.”

After being unemployed for six years, Sophie began volunteering to try and build her CV, which is when she came across a Prince’s Trust’s Get into Healthcare course.

She said: “It came at the right time - my family had previously tried to push me to work but it had to be my decision. Working for NHS24 was something I never thought I could do as a job, but after the four weeks, I realized I had a passion for this career.

“I’ve been working as a call handler for NHS24 for over a year now and couldn’t imagine working anywhere else. I love it. It’s given me pride and a passion - something that was lost to me for years. I even won the Hero Award at NHS 24’s annual Spotlight Awards for my volunteering which was a proud moment.

“I look back now and I would not be here today if it wasn’t for The Prince’s Trust. That’s why I wanted to give back, as a Young Ambassador I’m able to encourage other young people and share my story to hopefully inspire others and prove that you can turn your life around.”

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Struggling with longstanding anxiety and confidence, Shaun Paul – from North Glasgow - has used the support he received from The Prince’s Trust to increase his self-belief and is now in a place to pursue his dream of working as a football coach.

After leaving school and attending college to gain qualifications, Shaun Paul found it hard to cope in new environments and being around new people, which made the prospect of attending job interviews very daunting.

With the support of his youth support worker, he focused on developing his PSD skills by attending online sessions and after two months the difference in him was apparent to his peers and The Trust’s staff.

The 17-year-old said: “I’ve always struggled with confidence. I was in foster care and this experience contributed to my anxiety and low self-belief. When I started with The Trust, I was very shy and during the first online session I only felt comfortable typing in the comments section as I was too nervous to speak.

“A month later, I felt much more positive and confident and even gave the group a video tour of my house and introduced them all to my cats! I am proud of how far I’ve come in such a short time. I was motivated to progress onto the Employability sessions that The Trust is offering so I can work on my CV, interview skills to get me ready to take the next step.”

Shaun Paul, who is an avid footballer player and is keen to find a career within football as a coach.

He added: “I’m now looking forward to finding opportunities that will help me pursue my goal of having a career in sport and I’m looking at ways to do with this with my Prince’s Trust keyworker. The Trust has helped me find the confidence I needed and I’m excited for the future.”

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Moving forward, the charity is working to help young people in the city who are facing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19.

Kate Still, Director of The Prince’s Trust in Scotland, said: “We have close links with a variety of organisations throughout the city – schools, colleges, businesses, local government and other third sector partners – and by working together we have ensured that young Glaswegians will continue to get the support they need.

“With our own research showing that 43 per cent of young people feel their anxiety levels have increased as a result of the pandemic and lockdown, ensuring that our younger generation are healthy and their wellbeing is looked after is crucial.

“We all know that even when unemployment is low like it was in 2019 - many communities in Glasgow still suffer from high levels of both unemployment and underemployment.

“Now, the number of people in the city claiming unemployment benefits has risen due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we know that young people will be hit the hardest as they are more likely to work in the sectors most severely affected."