Stacy, 25, from Taverham in Norfolk, suffered a difficult early life. But through her hard work and with the support of The Prince's Trust, she now helps other young people who were in similar situations to herself.
Stacy had a traumatic childhood, she was repeatedly exposed to physical and emotional abuse and neglect, as well as falling victim to sexual assault. She suffered further abuse in adulthood. The abuse she suffered began to take its toll, and this left her feeling depressed and suicidal. These problems also affected her school life; she was bullied and began to truant regulary.
Leaving school with five GCSEs, Stacy went on to college but dropped out after three months as life was too difficult. She began working in a bar and completed her NVQL2 in Food and Beverage. Soon after, at 19, she fell pregnant with her first child, Mason. As a single parent with little support she began to spiral into debt.
At 21, she was pregnant again but also in another abusive relationship. Desperate to break the cycle, Stacy found it impossible to find work. She realised that what she really wanted to do was help other single parents who were facing similar problems to her. Stacy decided to take on a volunteering course, which would help her to support other disadvantaged young people and single parents attempting to get back into work.
Recognising she needed some financial support, she contacted The Prince's Trust in 2005, anxious to change her life. With the help of a Development Award of £500 she was able to cover her travel costs to complete the course. She went on to work on several volunteering projects over the years. And with two young children of her own, she has a great understanding of the pressures and barriers faced by young people. This has given her a sense of purpose and increased her once shattered confidence.
She said: "My life has improved beyond belief since I first contacted The Prince's Trust. I am really grateful for the help and support I have received and if it hadn't been for them, I wouldn't be in the positive place I am now."
Her volunteering work has taken her to Russia and Latvia and has helped her gain confidence and new skills as well as an insight into the issues faced by young people in different countries.
In 2011, Stacy successfully secured a two-month paid placement with The Prince's Trust as part of the Vodafone World Of Difference programme, and she now has a full-time permanent job in the Norfolk area. She is also a trained Development Award Assessor.
"She is a terrific example of what young people can achieve against the odds, and her enthusiasm and support in championing other young people who encounter similar problems to those that she had is hugely commendable. I am sure she will go far," said Amy Turner at The Prince's Trust.
We would like to acknowledge the individuals or organisations who have played a key role in helping this young person achieve success through their Prince’s Trust programme:
- Shopie Houghton-Hood, Programme Executive - Awards, The Prince’s Trust, Norwich
- Amy Turner, Volunteers Manager, The Prince’s Trust, Norwich • Peter Lawrence, Centre Manager, Circle Anglia