Seventeen youngsters completed a Prince’s Trust Programme and marked their achievement at a celebratory presentation evening at Elim Family Centre on July 22.
Just 12 weeks ago, if you had asked these youngsters to stand up and speak to a room full of people – a lot of them strangers – they would have ran the other way, as would a lot of people.
But on this night, each member of ‘Team 10’ spoke out about their experiences, in front of distinguished guests including Peter Field, the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex; Counsellor Janet Coles, the Mayor of Eastbourne; and Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd.
Wayne Wright, deputy principal of curriculum and skills at Sussex Downs College, said at the awards, “I know how terrifying it can be to stand up in a room and address an audience, and you’ve all done that absolutely brilliantly.
“You should be really proud of yourselves.”
Team 10’s development is testament to the success of the programme and the hard work of the Prince’s Trust team here locally in Eastbourne.
Team leader James Marnie led Team 10 through a variety of events, showcased in a slideshow at the awards evening.
Events included charity work: the team helping at supermarket checkouts, washing cars, sponsored walks and holding bake sales; an activity week in Essex: canoeing, rock climbing, rifle shooting, go-karting and more; career planning: writing CVs, application forms and mastering interview techniques.
The highlight for many of them was five days at Thriftwood campsite and activity centre in Essex.
This took place on their second week in, bonding the group for the remainder of the programme.
Gemma Hillman, 25, praised the programme, saying, “It give 16-25 year olds the chance to get back into the swing of things.
“It’s a great confidence booster.”