A group of young people from Chester has won a Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx &Home-Sense Celebrate Success Award.
Known as Team 76 the youngsters won the Progress to Excellence Educational Achiever of the Year Award during a ceremony in Liverpool.
The awards recognise the achievements of disadvantaged young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their community.
Nine unemployed young people aged 16-23, from Chester came together to make a poignant film about the real life story of a young person’s involvement with substance misuse.
They were taking part in Team – a programme from The Prince’s Trust that helps improve the employability prospects of unemployed young people – and hope their film will convince other young people to avoid substance misuse by making the right lifestyle choices.
Lauren Grady from Team 76 said: “We had all been affected by drugs and alcohol one way or another and we were researching areas of need in our community so we felt passionate about making this the focus for our project.”
Keen to get it right but uncertain where to start, they met officials at the Fire Safety Centre in Lymm, who shared their ambitions of making a similar film aimed at Key Stage 3 children.
Using that as their springboard, the group of inspired young people voted to make a film that would highlight choice, consequences and taking responsibility.
They reflected on their own lifestyle choices and, after receiving a talk from a digital media office, they planned, scripted, filmed, edited and produced the film. It presented the story of how drugs had affected the life of one of the team members.
Lorna Dilley said: “We wanted to get the message across that no matter what your actions are, there will definitely be consequences.”
Evocative and thought-provoking, the film has received a lot of attention.
It has been uploaded to the internet, noted by the Home Office Fire Minister, and now forms part of a 30-minute session, designed in collaboration with the Team, on safety and choice-making. It will be delivered to all Year 9 pupils in Warrington, Halton, Cheshire East and West, and to all youth organisations that visit the Fire Safety Centre.
You can view the film here .
The team members are now pursuing training, employment or higher education.
The awards ceremony in Liverpool was hosted by TV chef Simon Rimmer.
Youth charity The Prince’s Trust gives disadvantaged young people the skills and confidence to find a job.
Three in four young people helped by The Prince’s Trust move into work, training or education.