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The Prince of Wales invites young beneficiaries of The Prince's Trust to St. James's Palace

2nd May 2012

The Prince of Wales invites young beneficiaries of The Prince's Trust to St. James's Palace

The Prince of Wales invites young beneficiaries of The Prince's Trust to St. James's Palace

The Prince of Wales spoke of the importance of extra-curricular activities to young people's self esteem and development today as he welcome young beneficiaries of The Prince's Trust to St. James's Palace.

A seminar was held in the state apartments to discuss the issues surrounding youngsters struggling at school or college due to personal problems or a lack of confidence.

Some of the teachers invited to the event at St James's Palace have enrolled their students in the xl programme, an initiative run by The Prince's Trust, which aims to build the social skills of young people.

The Prince's Trust xl programme is a structured initiative that allows schools and colleges to set challenges for their students like running a market garden or helping at an elderly centre to allow them to build their self-esteem.

Its aim is to give them the impetus to fulfil their goals of either seeking further education or applying for jobs they may have felt were out of their reach.

The Prince spent more than an hour chatting to students and teachers from educational institutions across England who had taken part in the programme.

Across the UK as a whole 570 schools have taken part in the project, with 11,000 young people benefiting from the programme.

Shannon Russell, 16, from Stoke, spoke to The Prince about her experiences before taking part in the course.

The teenager said after meeting The Prince: "I found school quite difficult because I had no confidence. I lacked self-esteem and used to hate the thought of going to school."

But her grades started to improve and she began to feel happier after beginning the xl course and she is now studying at college and hopes to become a sports coach.

Later, The Prince told his guests: "I know you have so much on your plate, you do have enormous challenges but somehow in your remarkable way you helped to overcome them."

The Prince added: "It seems to me one of the key areas of such importance is the balance between the curricular and extra-curricular activity.

"I've often felt it's the extra-curricular side which can be of such enormous importance in helping to build what can only be called the character of the young person, which is sometimes forgotten nowadays.

"What we're really doing with the xl programme...is helping to raise aspirations and build self-esteem and self-confidence."