Young People from Felixstowe Win Top Royal Award 

Cameron Sadler, Poppy Ferrar, Talena Dalton and Mason Grant, aged 18-22, from Felixstowe, scooped a prestigious award from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales on 24 May after making a big impression by deciding to tap into the wisdom of their local community’s older residents.

Cameron, Poppy, Mason and Talena scooped the prestigious Dell Technologies Community Impact Award, which celebrates young people who have made positive contributions to their local community while developing their own skills. 

The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards recognise young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact in their local community. The star-studded ceremony, held at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, was hosted by Ant and Dec and attended by Celebrity Ambassadors including Sir Ben Kingsley, Amal Clooney, Jeremy Irons, Anne Marie, Melanie Chisholm, Nicola Adams, Jonathan Bailey and Phoebe Dynevor. 

Four young people signed up for The Prince’s Trust Team programme with Inspire Suffolk to build their confidence, meet new people and gain employability skills. When they started the programme, Cameron, Poppy, Talena and Mason were facing their own challenges in life, from long-term unemployment and poor mental health to low confidence and anxiety about socialising. 

Coming together as part of the Prince’s Trust Team programme, delivered by Inspire Suffolk, the team took on a community project in Felixstowe to make a positive difference in the town where they live.

Wanting to support individuals aged over 65 for their community project, they were keen to break down age barriers and reduce loneliness; topics they knew were particularly important due to the pandemic. 

The group chose to link up with three local care homes where they asked residents to submit letters with life advice for their 16-year-old selves. The young people received 15 letters back and with the help of a local printer, they made the letters into a book. They then visited the care homes to speak to the letter writers, asking more questions about the residents’ lives, which brought two very different age groups together. 

Poppy, aged 22, said: “The project helped me come out of my shell and made a difference to individuals who experience the negative impacts of loneliness. The Letters to my 16-year-old Self project meant I got to listen to and read about other people’s life experiences and stories of when they were younger and how they overcame the obstacles they faced.” 

Through The Prince’s Trust Team programme, the free 12-week course was an opportunity for them to meet new people, work on their confidence and build their skills for the workplace.

On winning the Dell Community Impact Award, Cameron said: “This means so much to us all, I don’t think any of us actually expected to be recognised on such a level. Doing the programme has personally done so much for my confidence and anxiety and so much for us as individuals. The confidence we have gained along the way is already paying off, because we are all now either in further education, work or progressing towards our ideal job opportunities and feeling more confident in ourselves.”

Dayne Turbitt, SVP & General Manager of Dell Technologies, said: “Congratulations to the Felixstowe Team on winning the Dell Technologies Community Impact Award. It’s inspiring to see the remarkable effort that this team has achieved and they have made such a positive contribution to their local community. It’s also amazing witnessing the team continue to achieve their own individual successes in the process.” 

The Prince’s Trust supports young people aged 11-30 to develop confidence and essential life skills to get ready for work, access job opportunities and live positive futures. It helps tens of thousands of young people each year and three in four young people on The Trust’s programmes move into work, education or training.

American actor and producer, Josh Hartnett said:“Talena, Poppy, Mason and Cameron are worthy winners of this award for their ingenious way of engaging with and supporting the older residents of their community. Their immense efforts during the programme have been vital to shine a light on the issue of loneliness. They truly are an inspiration.” 

Actress Tamsin Egerton said:“These young individuals should be extremely proud of their achievements. Gaining confidence and employability skills along the way, they’ve not only made their family and friends proud, but have also shown the power of unity by bringing together different generations across their community.” 

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