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Awards honour young who turned their lives round

By Maureen Coleman

The achievements of young people and volunteers across Northern Ireland will be honoured by The Prince's Trust at a high-profile awards ceremony later this week.

The Oscar-style event Celebrate Success - supported by the Belfast Telegraph - will take place at the Culloden Hotel on Thursday, December 6, and it is shaping up to be the charity event of the year.

Prince's Trust celebrity ambassadors, including Ralph McLean, Colin Bateman, Eva Birthistle, co-hosts Steve McGann and Denise Watson, as well as a host of local dignitaries, will award young people who have achieved success against incredible odds.

The Awards celebrate the achievements of disadvantaged young people supported by the Trust who have changed their lives and had a positive impact on the local community. The outstanding levels of support provided by Prince's Trust volunteers and staff from partner organisations across the region will also be recognised at the event.

The Prince's Trust Celebrate Success Award categories are:

Ulster Bank Community Impact Award - Trust-supported young people who have completed a project which has had an impact on their local community: Newry Team 1; Hazelwood year 11 xl clubs groups 1 &2

Vodafone NI Young Achiever of the Year Award- a Trust-supported young person who has moved into work, education or training and overcome barriers: Ceallaigh McCleary (Derry); Thomas Wightman (Belfast); Stephen McDermott (North Belfast); Lahbib Alouti (South Belfast)

The Prince's Trust Staff Award - a member of the Prince's Trust Northern Ireland staff who has consistently lived up to the values of the Trust in supporting both young people and their colleagues

Educational Achiever Award, sponsored by Moy Park - a Trust-supported young person who has overcome barriers to engage and achieve more success at school: Deborah Matchett (Craigavon); Stephen Cooney (Craigavon); Emma-Louise Stewart (North Belfast/Newtownabbey);Laura Stevenson (Belfast); Richard Galloway (Belfast)

Volunteer of the Year Award, sponsored by resource - a volunteer who has made an exceptional contribution to the work of the Trust: John Morton (Lurgan); David Gillespie (Larne); Niall Birthistle (Derry); Michael Dougan (Lisburn)

Leadership Award, sponsored by Dale Farm - an individual from the Trust's partner organisations who has significantly lead and developed young people: Arlene Jackson (Antrim); Desmond McCaul (Kilkeel); Dan Barton (Lurgan)

Partnership Innovation Award, sponsored by Wilson Group - a partner who has demonstrated innovation to support the work of the Trust: Michael Deane (Belfast); Farrans Construction (Belfast); Henry Brothers (Magherafelt); Pattons Group (Ballymena)

The Belfast Harbour Commissioners Enterprise Award - a young person who has overcome barriers and created sustainable business or community enterprise: Edward Hutton (Derry); Lavie Tenin Soro (Belfast); Louise Ross (North Belfast); Ciara McLaughlin (Dungiven)

The winners will compete against others from 11 Prince's Trust regional and country Awards for a place on the shortlist for the UK finals. Overall winners will be revealed at the prestigious Prince's Trust & RBS Celebrate Success Awards ceremony, which will take place in London in spring 2008.

Dr David Dobbin, chairman of The Prince's Trust in Northern Ireland, said: " Thousands of young people have turned their lives around and made a positive contribution in their local communities through support from the Prince's Trust. These awards highlight the success of these young people from across Northern Ireland.

"They also celebrate the invaluable support and impact that Trust volunteers and staff have on changing young people's lives."

Finalists have been selected from thousands of young people supported by the Trust in Northern Ireland each year. Since the charity was founded by the Prince of Wales in 1976, it has helped over half a million young people across the UK. In Northern Ireland in the next year the Trust is aiming to support over 2,500 young people.

The Prince's Trust helps change young lives. It gives practical and financial support to those who are facing barriers in their lives: those who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law.

Belfast Telegraph


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