Princes Trust leader ‘helped me and hundreds like me’ says Northampton man who turned his life around

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A Northampton man who says he owes his life to The Princes Trust is helping it celebrate the 25th anniversary of its team programme.

The 12-week personal development course, supported by Barclays, has helped more than 187,000 young people into work, education or training since 1990.

Northampton man Steven Carruthers joined the Team programme back in 2012. He says he owes his life to the programme, and specifically Prince’s Trust Team Leader of eleven years, Wayne Taylor.

Stevem said: “Before I joined Team, I wasn’t in a good place. I had no confidence, very little direction and I kept shutting myself off from everyone. The support I received from Wayne was absolutely invaluable. Simply put, I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for him.

“On my first day of the programme, I was nervous. I’d been in been in care since aged nine, I’d been in trouble with the police, and things were spiralling out of control. Wayne brought me in, offered me a cup of tea and helped me take the course at my own pace. By the end of the twelve weeks, I was a changed man, and a huge proportion of that transformation is down to Wayne.

“Whether he’s on Prince’s Trust time or his own time, it makes no difference to Wayne – he is always there. He puts the young people he works with before anything, and he provides whatever help they need. If it’s emotional support, confidence building or a gentle push in the right direction, Wayne has the experience to help young people get back on track.

“It’s great that the Trust recognises young people when they overcome obstacles. But none of that would be possible without the support of the staff on the front line. People like Wayne put their life on hold to help others – it’s incredible really.

“After I finished the programme, Wayne helped me to get a job at Barclaycard. The support I received from him has also inspired me to volunteer in my spare time. I now help other young people taking part in the Team programme, offering one to one support and sharing my story to show how, with the right support network, it is possible to dig yourself out of the deepest holes.

“Wayne has worked as a Team Leader for eleven years – the impact he has had in the Northampton area has been huge. I just want to say thank you to him and all of the supporters across the UK who help young people turn their

lives around.

“The Team programme is so important and it’s amazing to think about everyone who has benefitted over the last 25 years. I would encourage young people who are unemployed and looking for some direction – it really can change your life.”

The Prince’s Trust recently marked the 25th year of its Team programme with a nationwide campaign supported by Barclays. The charity unveiled a giant photo frame, which was used by young people taking part in the scheme to take team selfies with popstar Alesha Dixon.

Members of the public have been helping The Trust celebrate the programme’s 25th year by tweeting team selfies – known as ‘Teamies’ – with the hashtag #lovemyteam. Prizes are being awarded to people using the hashtag throughout the month.

Youth charity The Prince’s Trust helps disadvantaged young people gain the skills and confidence to find work. Three in four young people helped by the charity move into work, education or training.