Andrew Reynolds: I think I’m just really passionate about the thing. I know from my own experience my life didn’t take off till I found a mentor. Somebody who can actually push me forward. You go to some of these Prince’s Trust things and you see a guy that’s been rock bottom. The guy’s – he’s been doing drugs, he’s been in prison. He’s come out of prison and he’s got a mentor figure. He’s got like a favourite uncle-type character that can actually push him forward.
I mean, it’s much like this weekend. If you can just find a mentor that will push you in the right direction. It can take you literally… there’s one guy that I saw recently who said, “If it wasn’t for the Prince’s Trust, I would be dead.” Because he would end up with a needle in his arm. He got a mentor. He’s now got a little business running. He’s a success story. That’s what the Prince’s Trust does.
Andrew Reynolds then introduces a video from the Princes Trust
Scott McFarland: My name’s Scott McFarland. This is my city. It’s the place I grew up in. It has many fond memories for me, especially of the people I used to know.
Eric McIntyre came from the rough end of town. He got in with the wrong crowd. At the age of ten Eric started committing crime. He left school at the age of 15. He had very little basic skills. He had no qualifications. After a string of petty offences, ended up in a young offenders’ institute. Just what kind of future is there for that boy now?
Then there was Sammy. Nice girl but she had her problems. She’d been brought up in care when her mother couldn’t cope. And indeed her social worker said that she’d lived in at least 30 different places. At the age of 16, Sammy left care to live independently. She ended up with no job, no money in her pocket, no family and friends to support her. And in that situation, just what’s a young girl got to do to support herself?
Then there was Stuart Reese. He really struggled at school. Got no qualifications. In fact, he left school early. He’s been out of work ever since. That was about a year ago.
Lay about. Loser. Thief. It’s easy to be judgmental. Well, here’s the truth of it. Eric joined the Prince’s Trust team and for 12 weeks he worked with a football club linked to the community helping young people. He was so successful in his team that he ended up a Prince’s Trust team leader, being able to help other young people in the same circumstances as he was when he first came on to the program.
Sammy was assigned a Prince’s Trust mentor. As part of the Prince’s Trust mentoring program, the mentor helped Sammy fill out job applications. Sammy ended up in a work placement at a local fashion boutique. And enjoyed the placement so much she considered a career in retail.
And as for Stuart, he ended up owning his own valeting business with the help of a Prince’s Trust business mentor. Now he turns over at least £50,000 a year.
As for me, I’ve been working for the Prince’s Trust as an area manager for two years now. Thousands of young people never stop paying for their mistakes. We believe that people should learn to look behind the label.
Andrew Reynolds has been a Patron of the Princes Trust for a number of years, believing passionately in the role of mentors to help young people.