A charity run scheme to help disadvantaged young people in the Black Country gain work and change their lives for the better has received £2,000 from leading regional building society the West Brom.
Youth charity, The Prince’s Trust, runs an Enterprise programme for young people interested in self-employment to explore and test their ideas, write plans and start their own businesses or achieve alternative outcomes in education, training, volunteering or work.
Each year around 300 participants from the Black Country and over 1,100 in total from the West Midlands are supported by the programme which relies on local fundraising.
Lisa Barea, fundraising manager for The Prince’s Trust, said: “We are really grateful to the West Brom for its support. This grant is hugely important to the programmes we deliver.
“Youth unemployment is still high, particularly in Wolverhampton, and many of the young people we help face barriers to finding work and achieving genuine financial independence. They may have under-achieved at school, have a history of offending, gone through the care system, have a disability or be lone parents, and find this hampers their chances.
“Our programme provides training, advice and mentoring to see if people have skills or interests which they can use to start a business and work for themselves. They can also apply for a low-interest loan and the support of a volunteer business mentor.”
Figures for last year show that 86% of participants who completed the programme achieved a positive outcome of establishing their own business, finding employment, returning to education or taking up a training course.
Business ideas covered a variety of sectors including health and beauty, photography, catering, vehicle repair, tree surgery, personal training, event planning and childcare.
The West Brom’s donation was made through the Mercian Community Trust, a partnership between the Society and the Diocese of Lichfield to help community groups and charitable causes in the region.
Nick Trueman from the West Brom said: “We are delighted to be supporting an initiative that promotes innovation and entrepreneurship right in the heart of our local community.”
Case study: Pamper Palace beauty salon in West Bromwich
Young entrepreneur Sarah Painter is on the road to success after The Prince’s Trust’s Enterprise programme, which helps young people set up their own businesses, helped her get her own beauty salon off the ground.
Sarah opened Pamper Palace in the Greets Green area of West Bromwich in June, applying the skills she learnt while studying beauty both at school and Sandwell College. Based at Wood Lane Community Centre, the business offers a range of beauty treatments and holistic therapies.
Through The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme, Sarah was able to get guidance on business essentials including accounting, taxation and marketing, which she took forward successfully despite struggles in traditional education. She applied for financial support to get the business started and has regular access to a mentor for further guidance.