Jenny Ward wins The Titanic Quarter Limited Breakthrough Award

Jenny Ward wins The Titanic Quarter Limited Breakthrough Award

10th December, 2012

A young woman from Armagh, who has turned her life around with help from youth charity The Prince’s Trust, was crowned winner at a royal awards ceremony on Wednesday 14th November 2012.

Jenny Ward, 24, won The Titanic Quarter Ltd. Breakthrough Award at The Prince’s Trust & Samsung Celebrate Success Awards held at The Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey. The award recognises the progress of young people who have developed new skills to enable them to make positive steps on facing their challenges and in stabilising their lives.

Experiencing difficulties in her home life, Jenny entered into an unhealthy relationship where she was introduced to drugs. As her addiction grew, Jenny lost contact with her family and later developed chronic anxiety issues after witnessing a violent incident.

She faced homelessness when the difficult relationship ended, later spending a period of time with her sister after re-establishing contact. By now self-harming and continuing to battle her addiction, Jenny eventually moved in to her own flat. However, her emotional state was such that she felt unable to venture outside.

“During this time I felt my life was over and I had given up,” said Jenny.

She heard about The Prince’s Trust Team programme through a care worker. The 12-week course is aimed at helping young people gain key workplace skills and confidence. Jenny signed up in the hope that a structured routine would help with her dependency and occupy her mind.

Over the course of the programme, Jenny started to feel she had something to live for after all. While in the company of people she felt believed in her, she became a key Team member. Younger participants looked up to her, and her family relationships began to improve.

The positive environment brought about new levels of confidence and motivation in Jenny. Her ability to communicate and work with others saw particular improvement, and she very much enjoyed her work placement at a large supermarket.

Jenny, 24 is a different person to the fearful young girl from Armagh who first contacted The Trust. She is currently studying essential skills maths in college and is in the midst of developing her patchwork skills with ambitions of starting her own textile business.

Thinking about her future, Jenny is excited. For the first time she envisages marriage, children and a home of her own. “Before joining The Team programme I felt worthless,” she said. “Now I am in control of my life and I feel The Prince’s Trust has given me a second chance.”

After the event Jenny said, “" I am so proud to have won this award. When I signed up for the Team programme, I never dreamed I would be standing here today accepting this trophy in front of all these people.  I’m really looking forward now to what the future might hold for me.”

David Gavaghan, Chief Executive of Titanic Quarter Ltd said, “It is inspiring to see so many young people overcoming difficulties and challenges to transform their lives. We in Titanic Quarter are delighted to support the Prince’s Trust through our sponsorship of the Breakthrough Award and congratulate Jenny on being the overall winner of this category – the courage she has shown is an inspiration to all of us.”

The Prince’s Trust & Samsung Celebrate Success Awards honour the achievements of disadvantaged young people supported by The Trust who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their local community.

Youth charity The Prince's Trust gives disadvantaged young people the skills and confidence to find a job.  Three in four young people helped by The Prince’s Trust move into work training or education.