More than 300 students celebrated the success of the Prince’s Trust course over the last decade with a special tea party at West Suffolk College.
The college announced that, in the last 10 years, 330 participants, working together in 30 different teams, had raised £12,000 for the local community via their involvement in 12-week courses, which aim to help improve people with their employability and life skills.
During this time, the 330 participants included seven people who became East of England regional finalists and two who were regional winners.
Ola Anderson, head of proactive education at West Suffolk College, said: “We are grateful here at the college to be able to offer the Prince’s Trust team programme as delivery partners for the last 10 years.
“The learning journey has made a significant impact on our young people’s lives towards post-programme success and wellbeing in further and higher education, employment, plus family and friendships.
“Thank you to all the college staff, support workers, local organisations and employers who have all contributed to making a difference for our youth.”
Katrina Vingre, of Sudbury, came over from Latvia when she was 15, but struggled with her GCSEs in a new country and was bullied at school, resulting in her being unemployed for a year.
Joined the Prince’s Trust programme and enrolling in a public services course at college helped to grow her confidence and she subsequently got a waitressing job in the town, before becoming assistant manager at Prezzo restaurant in Sudbury.
Now aged 24, she is currently the assistant manager at the new Budgens supermarket in Long Melford.
“Prince’s Trust gave me confidence and I was able to take the lead and run a restaurant when a manager was not there,” said Katrina.
“Now I am starting from scratch in a new store with new staff.
“I am so grateful to Prince’s Trust. Without it, it would not have been so easy.”
Jess Gardner, 22, from Lavenham, said she had been in and out of jobs and could not hold one down.
She was encouraged by her mother to join the Prince’s Trust programme, and has since started working in a dog creche.
Jess said: “It helped me by boosting my confidence. It taught me to be resilient and persevere through the bad times.”
For additional information about the Prince’s Trust programme, go to the college’s website at www.westsuffolk college.ac.uk.