Double awards success for Norwich charity’s young builders

Sam Alexander of St Edmunds Society, Norwich joint winner of the 14 - 16 year old category for You

Sam Alexander of St Edmunds Society, Norwich joint winner of the 14 - 16 year old category for Young Builder of the year awards 2014. House of Commons, London. - Credit: Archant

A double celebration is in order for a Norwich charity after two of the young people it supports collected national awards.

St Eds, based on Oak Street, helps disadvantaged young people get into employment or training by teaching them construction skills.

And that work has paid off for 16-year-old trainees Sam Alexander and Orlando Horner, finalists in the Young Builder of the Year Competition.

At a ceremony in Westminster on October 15, Sam took home the Youth Build UK Young Builder of the Year award in the 14 to 16 year-old category, while Orlando was commended.

Sam, 16, said he hoped his success would inspire other young people in similar situations.

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'It has helped me,' he said. 'And it's nice to know that despite all the problems I've had in the past, someone thought I've done well to get this far.

'Hopefully it could inspire other people who have had problems to do something and not just think their life is always going to be the way it is.'

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Sam, from Old Catton, is studying carpentry at Easton and Otley College with dreams of one day owning his own construction company.

'I did a City and Guilds qualification at St Eds and I did a bit of carpentry. I fell in love with it,' he said.

St Ed's other winner Orlando, is now studying engineering at University Technical College Norfolk, said spending the day in London was a great way to celebrate his success.

'It was a really fun day,' he said. 'It was nice I got to meet some new people and some old friends from St Eds.

'There's a really great working environment at St Eds and really nice people. I want to just get as qualified as I can and then see what happens.'

St Eds CEO Lorraine Bliss was thrilled to said: 'I'm absolutely delighted that our trainees hard work and determination has paid off.

'This is a fantastic way to reward them for the efforts they've made to overcome the many challenges in their lives.'

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith said: 'I am over the moon to see Norwich young people succeed like this, and proud to have been able to support them in their visit to the awards in Parliament.'

For more on the awards, visit

Do you know a young person achieving national success? Email

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