Joules helps youngsters in Leicestershire complete Enterprise courses in partnership with The Prince’s Trust

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Over the past six months Joules, the premium British lifestyle brand, has through its charity partnership with The Prince’s Trust supported 128 vulnerable young people in Leicestershire change their lives for the better by helping them complete the Enterprise programme.

This meant from January to June 2017, The Prince’s Trust were able to deliver over 35 Enterprise courses across Leicestershire, which saw 128 young people participate in an intensive four days training programme and workshops. These sessions equip young people with the skills to set up in business and cover topics such as strategy development and marketing to legal planning and finance.

The programme aims to help vulnerable young people aged 18 to 30 to turn their business ideas into reality, develop the skillset needed for those seeking self-employment as well as develop employability skills. Seventy three per cent of Trust-supported businesses continue to operate into their third year, compared with the national figure of 61%.

Those who have successfully completed this year’s programme are on track to set up their own businesses with the help from a dedicated mentor or are moving into work using the skills they have gained through the programme.

Efaz Ahmed, 26, a graduate of one of the 35 courses is a great example of how the programme can help young people to turn their lives around. At the age of 13, Efaz left school with no GCSEs, and became involved in violence and street crime. Life came crashing down when he was forced to undergo major eye surgery. He lost 90% of his vision and almost lost his life. He suffered from severe depression, developed a heart condition, lost all confidence and gave up on himself. After being told he could never play football again, Efaz took four of his cousins to the local astroturf grounds for a kick about and saw himself as a mentor to them. Efaz soon found out about The Prince’s Trust which consequently changed his life.

Efaz started The Prince’s Trust Get Started with Football programme and took advantage of all this course had to offer, gaining youth work and coaching qualifications and securing work at Leicester City Football Club.

When his informal sessions resumed many young people joined him. Efaz saw the potential for his own social enterprise and returned to take part in The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme. With the support of a mentor and a start-up grant, NEBA Football was born, a development academy which provides opportunities for people in the community using sports as its core platform.

Efaz, is now a very active Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador, delivering workshops, sitting on boards, raising awareness of The Trust’s work and influencing decision makers and donors. He has also been involved with theTalent Match, which works with The Prince’s Trust to tackle youth unemployment in some of the poorest communities in the UK.

Efaz said: “It finally feels like I’m moving in the right direction to achieve my dreams.”

Colin Porter, Joules CEO, said: “We’re delighted that through our partnership with The Prince’s Trust, we’ve been able to support more than 100 young people through the The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme. As an entrepreneurial business that started off in Leicestershire, we’re keen to do what we can to support local entrepreneurialism. We have seen some impressive business ideas and well thought-out business plans and look forward to seeing these develop over time.”

In supporting the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme, Joules has so far raised £36,200 from fundraising initiatives throughout the year, including the proceeds from Scotland and Wales’s carrier bag tax, which came into effect in 2014 and 2011.