A Chorley teenager has won a national award after overcoming a difficult start to his life.
Jack Lucas, 19, from Chorley, received the National Breakthrough award at The Prince’s Trust Awards at a glittering ceremony at the London Palladium.
By his own admission, Jack went off the rails during earlier his teenage years. At his lowest point he was jobless, sleeping on a park bench and severely depressed. He credits the Prince’s Trust Team Programme, managed by Groundwork, with helping him to completely turn his life around.
Jack said: “I got into fights, left home and sofa-surfed whenever I could. When I couldn’t, I slept in the park. Sleeping out in a place like that in the winter, it really affects you. I needed something positive to focus on and that’s exactly what the Team Programme gave me.”
The Prince’s Trust Team Programme in Chorley is a free 16-week personal development course. It helps unemployed young people between the ages of 16 and 24 to build their confidence, learn new skills and make new friends, so that they can improve their future prospects and are better equipped to find work.
(L-R Ian Stuart CEO HSBC, Laura Whitmore, Jack Lucas, Caroline Flack)
He said: “My dad heard an advert for the programme on the radio. I thought I’d give it a go because I had nothing else left and nothing left to lose. In the space of 12 weeks I went from what was probably the worst point in my life to being in the best place in my life. Having people believe in me gave me a massive confidence boost. Thanks to Groundwork and the Prince’s Trust, I now have a job, I’m no longer homeless and I’ve started to believe in myself again."
Having benefitted from the support that the programme gave him, it appears that Jack’s life has almost come full circle. He now works full-time as a live-in apprentice at an activity centre, using his skills and experience to help others.”
Colin Greenhalgh, Programme Director of Employment and Skills at Groundwork said: “We are really proud of Jack and the huge progress he has made. He is a great example of how programmes like the Prince’s Trust can support, encourage and motivate people to achieve things that they hadn’t previously thought possible. We hope that Jack’s story inspires others to take that first step towards achieving their true potential.”
Click here to get more information about the Prince's Trust Team Programme.