Space could soon be tight in the trophy cabinet for the Education’s Training Collective’s Prince’s Trust team.

Recently named silver and then one of just 14 gold winners at the Pearson National Teaching Awards, the college group has now seen one of its students named a finalist in the National Prince’s Trust Awards.

Aidan is in the running for the charity’s title of Asciental Educational Achiever of the Year.

“It feels pretty good,” said the 19-year-old who found new focus studying with the team at Stockton Riverside College.

The Prince’s Trust Educational Achiever Award recognises young people who have overcome barriers and developed new skills to improve their future prospects through re-engagement in education.

Nominating Aidan, the college’s Prince’s Trust Achieve co-ordinator, Claire McGarvey, said: “He has faced a number of setbacks in his life.”

A change in family circumstances at 14 meant a change in schools for Aidan, and struggling with authority as a youngster he became increasingly frustrated and disruptive.

Eventually excluded from school, he said: “I knew I wanted to join the army so I didn’t think it really mattered.”

So when a food allergy later derailed his plans he was left demotivated and without any clear direction.

Eventually joining the Prince’s Trust Achieve programme last year, he admits he didn’t think it was going to be for him. But finding support in the group and a tutor who truly believed in him helped him make a change.

Claire said: “During the course he developed as a person and gained ambition and self belief. He successfully completed a work placement and improved his skills.  He started to realise his potential leading the group’s enterprise project and demonstrated great customer service skills.”

With the right support behind him he even managed to pick up his Level 2 English qualification.

Now working as a customer service advisor in a call centre and finding himself a flat, Aidan is taking nothing for granted. In these uncertain times, he said: “I know I have to work hard to keep my job and home.”

But through the Prince’s Trust programme he has learnt a lot. He added: “I felt ready to make a change and I have more of a future now.”

Winners of The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense National Award Finals will be announced in spring 2021.

To find out more about The Prince’s Trust courses delivered by the Education Training Collective visit: www.stockton.ac.uk/princes-trust


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