SMileS funding helps to give Kirklees woman a brighter future
The Prince’s Trust is helping young people back into work in Kirklees after a generous donation of 18k to the youth charity.
This comes as more than one in five young people in Kirklees (23 per cent) are struggling to find a job. Across the district the number of young people trapped on benefits for more than six months has more than doubled since before the recession.
Kirklees based text messaging provider SMileS SMS, has donated 18k to fund The Prince’s Trust Development Awards, which are cash grants of between £50 and £500, to help disadvantaged young people access work, training or education.
Annabel Ruddiman, 19, from Huddersfield, was unemployed before a Development Award helped her get a job at a local swimming pool.
Last year she was made redundant from a hair salon and spent the next six months searching for work without any luck.
She said: “It was really tough because I had trained to be a hairdresser and then I was made redundant from the first job I had. For the next few months I applied for job after job but I didn’t hear anything. I was really depressed and fed-up, which is when I heard about The Prince’s Trust.”
Annabel decided she wanted to re-train as a lifeguard but didn’t have the money to pay for the lifesaving course. She applied for a Development Award and received a £270 grant so she could pay for it.
She passed and recently managed to get a job at Halifax Swimming Pool in Calderdale working as a lifeguard.
Annabel said: “The support from The Prince’s Trust was absolutely brilliant and really made a difference to my life. Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to get the job and I would still be unemployed and depressed. I can’t thank SMileS and The Trust enough.”
Last year, The Trust helped more than 3,500 young people in Yorkshire and The Humber, giving them the skills and confidence to find a job. More than three in four young people on Prince’s Trust schemes move into work, education or training.
Mark Evans from SMileS, part of ME Consultancy Limited said: “We are delighted to be making this donation to The Prince’s Trust, which is doing fantastic work in Yorkshire.
“Thousands of young people are desperate to find a job, but don’t have the money to pay for travel costs, work clothes or the equipment they need.
“Prince’s Trust Development Awards are vital in helping vulnerable young people to turn their lives around. At a time when youth unemployment is high, it’s more important than ever to give these disadvantaged youngsters the long-term support they need to find work.”
Andy Farley from The Prince’s Trust in Yorkshire added: “We would like to thank SMileS for their generous donation.
“Annabel is living proof that it is possible for young people to turn their lives around. With this extra financial support, we’re hoping to change more young lives across Kirklees.”
 Figures have been taken from the Office for National Statistics.
To find out more about Development Awards, which are available for unemployed 16-to-25-year-olds, contact Jan Bradley at The Prince’s Trust on 07506692154, email firstname.lastname@example.org or text PRINCES to 67777.
This article featured in the Examiner – Prince of Wales helps Fixby woman Annabel Ruddiman dive into a new career – Local West Yorkshire News – News from @examiner.
Due to our work with ‘The Prince’s Trust SMileS have been accepted as a member of the ‘Prince’s Trust Yorkshire Leadership Group’.