Staff from Derby College and a group of local young people have reached the finals of the Prince’s Trust annual Celebrate Success awards which will be presented at the London Palladium on March 15 and hosted by television presenters Ant and Dec.
The team, who were based at the College’s Ilkeston campus for their 12-week Prince’s Trust programme last year, won the regional finals for their community work to support SV2 in Derby which provides counselling and support for victims of sexual violence. They are now in line for the national Team Award.
The group of 11 young people aged 16 to 24 raised more than £750 through various events and activities to buy the materials needed to create a child therapy room with mood lighting, interchangeable murals for different ages and new furniture. They also redecorated other rooms at the charity’s offices in Derby.
Derby College Team Manager Michelle Varty explained: “Every group on the Prince’s Trust programme undertakes a community project but this team’s efforts were particularly special in terms of how hard they worked to the raise the money for materials and how well they worked on site.
“They really wanted to make a difference to the support provided to victims of sexual violence and the feedback from SV2 is that they have achieved this.
“Through team work and excellent planning, they have created a room which can now be used for children and young people to benefit from therapy and to talk safely about a difficult time in their lives.
“Young people join the Prince’s Trust programme for various reasons – to increase their self-confidence and gain additional skills that help them in the next stage of their lives.
“Members of this team made some huge strides in their personal goals and all of them have now progressed into further or higher education, are volunteering to gain further work experience, have found jobs or are working to set up their own businesses.
“They all thoroughly deserve this recognition and are very excited about attending the national awards. We obviously hope that they come away with the national award but, either way, the whole experience at this event will be one they will remember and cherish for the rest of their lives.”
Clare Vickers, Head of Advocacy and Support at SV2 said: “The group have done a fantastic job. They showed a real pride in their work and utmost respect for our clients and the organisation.
“We hope to provide a safe, calm and nice place for people who have been victims of sexual violence and the children’s space we now have feels welcoming and secure for our young people.”