BEX Wilson launched her own gardening business and ended an 18-month uphill battle looking for work, thanks to the Prince’s Trust.
The 28-year-old, from Larch Crescent in Eastwood, was put in touch with the Trust through the Job Centre, and after successfully putting a business plan together, was awarded £1,200 to get it all off the ground.
She said no-one was more grateful to the Trust than her after she spent week after week applying for jobs only to get letters of rejection, leaving her confidence at an all-time low.
“I was out of work for a long time,” she said.
“I had been abroad for two years and came back home and I was really struggling to find a job. It was really quite depressing. I was willing to work and wanted to work but no-one would give me the opportunity.”
Bex worked hard on a business plan before she heard she had qualified for the money.
“It was a fantastic feeling,” she said. “I had worked so hard. I was doing financial forecasts, market research, looking at competitors in the area and sending questionnaires out to the community.”
Bex spent the money on gardening equipment and a shed to store it and launched the business four months ago.
The Prince’s Trust is a registered charity working with 14- to 30-year-olds who have either struggled at school, been in care, been long-term unemployed or been in trouble with the law.
It was set up in 1976 and this year celebrates its 35th anniversary.
Prince’s Trust East Midlands regional director John O’Reilly said the ‘social unrest’ in Britain as the Trust launched has re-emerged in recent times, with the recession having an enormous impact on youth unemployment.
“Unemployment can have a knock-on effect on a young person’s confidence and mental health, with many people suffering self-loathing and depression,” he added.
“There are people struggling who could be contributing to the region given the right support.
“Thousands lack the skills and confidence to achieve their dreams and only by re-engaging them can we give them the hope to fulfil their potential and break down these barriers.”
The Prince’s Trust has helped more than 600,000 people and supports 100-a-day.
Currently more than one-in-six young people are struggling to find a job in the East Midlands, which is estimated to cost up to £11.4m per week in benefits and lost productivity
Youth unemployment costs the UK economy £10m a day in lost productivity, while youth crime costs £1bn every year.