Young people from Milton Keynes win a Royal award

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Last night’s Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards recognised the achievements of disadvantaged young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life, had a positive impact on their local community, as well as those who have played a part in supporting the work of The Trust.

Three separate groups of unemployed young people, each facing their own personal barriers, raised more than £2,000 to help fund renovation works, which they then carried out themselves at a sheltered housing scheme for elderly people in Milton Keynes.

The young people were taking part in Team, a 12-week Prince’s Trust programme that builds the confidence and employability skills of unemployed young people.

Team leader Jason Pinnock from Community Learning Milton Keynes, said: “We ran three Team programmes in quick succession and each group wanted to direct their community project efforts towards Buckland Lodge, a sheltered housing scheme for the elderly which receives little financial or community support.

“To date The Prince’s Trust Teams have transformed the social lounge, kitchen, laundry, and refuse room. They have renovated seven flats, repainted internal window frames, weeded and tidied the garden and restored outdoor furniture and decking.”

Each group of young people supplied all the equipment and tools they needed themselves, using funds from the money they collectively raised through sponsored bag packs and other activities. They even had money left over to buy new benches, and invest in a fund for dedicated social events at the lodge‎.

Team member Will Gover, 23, from Milton Keynes, said: “For all of us, this is a brilliant award, recognising all our efforts. During the project, Jason, our Team leader, empowered us to work as a unit but also with everyone at Buckland Lodge. It was so great seeing everyone happy at the end of the project.”

The young people from all three Team programmes gained new levels of respect for the elderly and a better understanding of the care sector. Several members expressed an interest in working in care, and six completed work placements at the lodge itself.

In 2016 Homesense, the sister company of TK Maxx, appointed The Prince’s Trust as their national charity partner. Homesense are supporting The Prince’s Trust Achieve programme which helps vulnerable young people achieve in their local communities. Store associates and customers from across Homesense’s 55 stores are raising funds for the Trust through a number of in-store campaigns.

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