Worksop: Courageous teen who turned life around thanks to Prince’s Trust up for national award

A Worksop teenager has been nominated for a national award after turning her life around with help from the Prince’s Trust.

Jade Allen is one of just three people from across the East Midlands nominated for the Samsung Young Achiever of the Year Award, which recognises young people who have struggled through unimaginable difficulties to transform their lives.

The 18-year-old was just five when she was diagnosed with Reflex Anoxic Seizures, a similar condition to epilepsy.

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By the age of seven, she was helping care for her disabled mother, and together with moving house every few years, she began feeling alienated and unsettled.

Jade struggled to form friendships and interact with others and at 14, she was suffering with depression.

The brave teen said: “Always moving around meant it was hard to make friends as a kid, so I’ve always struggled socially.”

A friend who volunteered with The Prince’s Trust suggested Jade try its Team programme to help combat her feelings of isolation.

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Team, which is delivered in partnership with Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, aims to enhance the skills and confidence of unemployed young people so that they are better equipped to find work.

Relieved that everyone else on the programme seemed just as nervous and uncertain as she was, Jade engaged in Team and thrived as a result.

She made friends and established herself to be a good team-player who wasn’t afraid to take the lead.

Jade said: “The Prince’s Trust helped me realise my condition and background shouldn’t stop me from doing what I wanted. It taught me that I could achieve great things.”

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A work placement Jade secured during Team led her to gain the motivation and career direction she had lacked for so long- realising she could use her experiences to help other people, she decided to enrol on a teaching assistant course.

Jade later returned to Team as a volunteer and has now progressed to assistant team leader. She is working on an 18 month placement as part of her Teaching Assistant Traineeship and eventually hopes to work for The Prince’s Trust.

The Prince’s Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success Awards will be touring the country in November and December with celebratory ceremonies taking place in each region. The East Midlands ceremony will be held on Monday, November 9 at The Roundhouse in Derby.