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The Prince of Wales celebrates the 300th team of Prince's Trust young people's training and education group at the South Thames College in London

19th December 2014

The Prince of Wales  cuts a cake to help celebrate the 300th team of Prince's Trust young people's training and education group at the South Thames College in London

The Prince of Wales cuts a cake to help celebrate the 300th team of Prince's Trust young people's training and education group at the South Thames College in London

The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to young people helped by his Prince's Trust during a visit to a college.

 

His Royal Highness met 10 unemployed young people who have recently completed Team - a 12-week Prince's Trust programme which equips them with the confidence and skills they need to find jobs.

 

During his visit to South Thames College, in Wandsworth, south London, he met Cherrelle Marsham, 23, from Wimbledon.

 

She said later that chatting to The Prince had made her year and speaking about how the programme had helped her job prospects, Ms Marsham added: "I've never been employed, let alone had a CV, but the Team programme has showed me that I am capable of getting a job and achieving the things I want to do.

 

"I was really grateful to secure some experience while on the programme, working with young people with learning difficulties, because it's going to help shape mine, and my family's, future."

 

The Prince's Trust and South Thames College have now run 300 Team programmes together over the past two decades and The Prince cut a 300 themed cake to celebrate the milestone.

Surrounded by young people who had taken part in the Team programme, His Royal Highness cut into a cake prepared by catering students at the college and said: "Well done all of you. Thank goodness we've got supporters like you to keep this show on the road."

During a group discussion with people now in education or employment after completing the course, The Prince said he was particularly encouraged to see so many, like 24-year old Matthew Campbell, had come back to the Trust to help other young people in similar situations.

Mr Campbell, 24, from Kingston, lived with his mother and seven siblings on an estate, but they moved to a hostel after a violent incident left them concerned for their safety.

His family quickly found somewhere permanent to live, but Mr Campbell ended up drinking, "sofa surfing" and sleeping on the streets but turned his life around thanks to the Trust and is now an official supporter.

He told The Prince: "Being a Prince's Trust young ambassador is one of the greatest achievements of my life. Thank you, Sir. The confidence and self-esteem I gained has helped me in every part of my life.

"I have seen how programmes like this can help young people. I was homeless and at rock bottom and now I'm living in Surbiton, studying youth work at London Met and have come back to volunteer with the Prince's Trust on the same programme that helped me to turn my life around."

The Prince previously visited South Thames College with the Duke of Cambridge to celebrate its 100th Team programme in October 2005.

Martina Milburn, Chief Executive of The Prince's Trust, said: "These hard-working and passionate young people prove that, with the right support, it is possible for the unemployed to transform their lives.

"We hope that their stories will inspire other young people to get in touch with the Prince's Trust and find out how we can help them realise their potential and move into work, education or training."

 

HRH meets members former members of a Prince's Trust young people's training and education group at the South Thames College in London

HRH meets members former members of a Prince's Trust young people's training and education group at the South Thames College in London