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Awards honour young people from Norfolk who have turned their lives around

PUBLISHED: 15:00 19 October 2011

Stacy Bradley

Stacy Bradley

Archant 2011 0

Inspiring young people from Norfolk who have turned their lives around and gone on to achieve great things have been honoured with special awards.

Inspiring young people from Norfolk who have turned their lives around and gone on to achieve great things have been honoured with special awards.

The eastern region round of the annual Prince’s Trust and L’Oreal Paris Celebrate Success Awards were held on Monday in Cambridge, and among the winners were three young people from Norwich and one from Cromer.

Graham Ball, Prince’s Trust regional director for the East of England, said: “I would like to say a huge congratulations to all of the young people who were honoured at the Prince’s Trust and L’Oréal Paris Celebrate Success Awards. The young people are a true inspiration to us all – they have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and have had a positive impact on their local community.”

• Hayley Draper was named the winner of the RBS Enterprise Award for overcoming potential setbacks and going on to set up a successful coffee shop business in Norwich.

The 29-year-old, who had a difficult childhood and suffered long-term unemployment, first went to the Prince’s Trust with her business idea when she was 26 and with the help of the trust, turned her dream into a reality.

She opened The Window, in Wensum Street, in February 2010 and the quirky cafe is believed to be (possibly) the world’s smallest coffee shop.

Hayley, who lives in Connaught Road, off Dereham Road, said: “I was shocked to win the award. It was really nice to be recognised because over the past year I have devoted my whole life to the shop. It is good to take a step back and see that all the hard work has paid off.

“The Prince’s Trust is great, without the trust I would not be doing what I am today.

“The fact that people believe in you and give you a chance means a lot.”

• Stacy Bradley scooped the L’Oreal Paris Young Achiever of the Year Award for championing the cause of disadvantaged young people and single parents and turning her own life around against the odds.

The 25-year-old mum of two from Taverham said: “I was really pleased to be nominated and overwhelmed to have won the award. It is a big thing because I have come so far – a year ago I would never have thought I would be where I am now.

“The award represents what I want to achieve and keep achieving. I do not want to stop now, I want to use the award to show other young people what it is possible to achieve if you put your mind to it.”

Stacy suffered a traumatic childhood and further abuse as an adult, but she was determined to break the cycle. That determination has led to her success and also her desire to help others.

Along the way she had two children, Mason, six, and Zach, three, and experienced first-hand the difficulties single parents face when trying to enter the world of work.

In 2005, she turned to the Prince’s Trust for financial help so she could do a volunteering course to help her support other disadvantaged young people and single parents. Her volunteering work has also led her overseas and she has been involved in projects in Russia, Latvia, Bosnia and Poland.

Stacy said that volunteering has given her a sense of purpose and increased her once-shattered confidence.

In 2011, she successfully secured a two-month paid placement with The Prince’s Trust as part of the Vodafone World Of Difference programme. She now has a full-time job as a development administrator for Circle Housing Group.

• Samantha Jones, from Cromer, won the James Barney Foundation Breakthrough Award.

She had been devastated when she was diagnosed with diabetes and her lifetime ambition to be an RAF physical training instructor was dashed.

However, inspired by the hospital staff who helped her, the 24-year-old is now pursuing a career in the NHS.

She said: “I feel grateful and really inspired by winning the award. The Prince’s Trust really helped me. It is brilliant how they give people opportunities.”

Samantha was 17 when she was diagnosed with diabetes and had to rethink her plans to join the RAF. She drifted from job to job until she became inspired by the medical staff who were helping her.

Samantha turned to the Prince’s Trust and was accepted on to the trust’s Get into Hospital Services programme.

After successfully completing the programme, in July this year she began an administrator apprenticeship at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s Rouen Road office.

• Chris Bartrum, 16, was honoured with the Educational Achiever Award for overcoming hurdles to improve at school.

Chris, from Norwich, struggled to form relationships and was diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

Since joining one of the The Prince’s Trust’s xl clubs – which support young people who are struggling at school – he has shown great maturity and taken ownership in dealing with his condition. Chris has developed a great range of skills and gone from being an isolated young person to a popular and integral part of the club.

His attendance at school is now excellent, at almost 100pc, and he is far more positive about the future.

He said: “I’m completely over the moon that I’ve won this award. I can’t believe how far I’ve come. I’ve got much more self-confidence now. I think the Prince’s Trust xl club has helped me no end and I’m looking forward to starting college.”

• emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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