A young man from Spalding was honoured at a royal award ceremony after turning his life around with help from The Prince’s Trust.
The Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success awards in derby recognised young people who had overcome difficulties from across the East Midlands.
Shaun Taylor (22), from Spalding, was named runner up for The HSBC Breakthrough Award, which recognises the progress of young people who have developed new skills to enable them to make positive steps in facing their challenges and stabilising their lives.
Shaun was heading towards a solid career in the army until a split from his girlfriend saw him turn to drugs. He became addicted. Shaun’s addictions worsened and eventually he became homeless and began shoplifting to fund his addictions and was arrested.
Shaun attended a workshop at his local Job Centre Plus about a programme called Team.
Created by The Prince’s Trust and delivered with Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service, Team is a 12-week course that improves the confidence and skills of unemployed young people.
Full of enthusiasm for the programme, Shaun immersed himself in Team and was praised for both his efforts and his leadership skills. Feeling more confident, Shaun asked his Team Leader to signpost him to support for his addictions and felt empowered to make lasting changes to his life.
After finishing the course, Shaun completed a work placement in administration and recently secured full-time employment. He is also volunteering at Lincolnshire’s drug and alcohol rehabilitation service.
He said: “It was a huge achievement to get this far. If it wasn’t for The Trust, I think I would be in prison or worse. Now, I’m employed and optimistic about the future. I also enjoyed hearing everyone else’s stories at the ceremony – congratulations to them.”