Award-winning teaching staff at the Education Training Collective are celebrating 25 years of changing young people’s lives as delivery partners of The Prince’s Trust.
To mark the occasion the team welcomed a host of special guests to a celebratory event, including The Prince’s Trust UK Chief Executive, Jonathan Townsend.
Hearing former students share their experiences of the programme in the Tees Valley, Jonathan said: “One of the things I have missed during the pandemic is hearing people’s real-life experiences of working with the Trust.
“To hear the stories of students today, so long after they completed the programme, and expressing the impact it has had on their lives, is so uplifting.”
Among those to share his story was 37-year-old Johnathon Gallagher from Middlesbrough. Joining the Team programme almost 20 years ago, he said: “All these years later the elements of the Team programme are still ingrained in my mind. The course is incredible and teaches you skills you need for life, something it is still doing for so many young people today.”
The Prince’s Trust Team programme is a personal development course available to unemployed young people aged 16 to 25. By taking part in a series of tasks and challenges, including an outdoor residential and work experience, they develop new life skills, self-esteem and direction. Approximately 80% of those young people go on to employment, further education or training.
It’s a formula that worked for Johnathon, who went on to become a Prince’s Trust Team leader himself with Stockton Riverside College, before moving on to a regional manager’s job with The Prince’s Trust in London.
These days Johnathon is the Head of Community Safety for the London Borough of Islington. His role is to tackle tough issues such as youth violence, counter terrorism, gang culture and violence against women and girls.
Joining the college’s Prince’s Trust anniversary celebrations, hosted at Redcar and Cleveland College as part of the Education Training Collective (Etc.), the Queen’s representative, Lord Lieutenant for County Durham, Sue Snowdon, said: “I am absolutely privileged to be here today and to join the celebrations of 25 years of The Prince’s Trust with the college group. To hear the personal stories is humbling but also inspirational. This is what The Prince’s Trust was designed to do and achieve.”
Redcar MP Jacob Young added: “It is fantastic to see and hear all of the amazing stories of people who have gone through The Prince’s Trust Team programme and it is great to now have that presence here in Redcar and Cleveland, supported by the college and the Etc.”
The Etc.’s Prince’s Trust team was named FE Team of the Year at the Pearson National Teaching Awards 2020. Finally able to officially celebrate at a sparkling event in London at the end of September, the group’s head of department for the Prince’s Trust, Gillian Hutchinson, said: “What a few weeks it has been. We are so proud of everything that has been achieved over the last 25 years.
“Every young person that we work with is different and that means that every programme is different. To be able to celebrate with former students who have gone on to achieve so much is incredible and quite emotional.”