A new regional Prince’s Trust development committee has been set up by a group of leading business figures to help the organisation raise vital funds to support young people.
The committee aims is to raise more than £1m during 2016-17 to go directly towards The Prince’s Trust in the region and help bring to life its vision that every young person should have the chance to succeed.
The money will help deliver more support to enterprising young people and will focus on providing more resource and skills fit for today’s business environment to the areas and people who need them.
The ambitious target coincides with the 40th anniversary of the charity, which helps disadvantaged 13-30 year olds get into employment, education and training.
It was started in 1976 by Prince Charles to help equip young people across the country with resources and skills needed to establish a career and develop business acumen.
The new development committee is chaired by Mike Beesley, chief executive of Bristol-based international recruitment organisation Resource Solutions Group (RSG), with Bristol Sport chief executive Andrew Billingham as vice chair.
Mike Beesley said: “This is an incredibly exciting time to be involved with The Prince’s Trust as this group will be pivotal in helping raise more funds to ensure this amazing organisation is able to help as many aspiring and enterprising young people in the South West as possible.
“The work done already across this area to help vulnerable young people is outstanding but there are many more who simply need a break and access to services and support to help them realise their ambitions.
“I’m personally touched by the stories of those who have benefitted from the work of The Prince’s Trust as they touch the lives of young people in ways that are so often overlooked.
“Giving people confidence, belief in themselves and access to other people who have ‘been there and done that’ and can pass on their knowledge – all these things are incredibly important when you’re setting out in business, but can be very hard to access.
“The Prince’s Trust puts this at the core of its work, which is inspirational and shows great understanding of the challenges being faced in today’s fast-paced world.”
Andrew Billingham added: “This is an exciting new group of business leaders that I am proud to be working alongside to help raise these funds, ultimately, to support young entrepreneurs and ambitious young people who want to further their lives.
“So often the obstacles to achieving your aspirations are practical, they take shape in lack of resources or access to technology and advice. But our experience at Bristol Sport has shown us that it is not a lack of enthusiasm, raw talent or intrinsic ability, which young, driven people often have in abundance.
“We look forward to shaping an exciting fundraising programme over the coming 12 months that really puts the future of business-minded individuals from across our region front and centre and hope that many other businesses will come on this journey with us.”
Fundraising starts in earnest with the annual Red Dinner, sponsored by wealth management group LGT Vestra – which opened an office in Bristol earlier this year – and hosted by Bristol Sport at Ashton Gate Stadium tomorrow.
Prince’s Trust senior head of outreach, assessment and outcomes in the South West, Russell Knight, said: “We are delighted to welcome on board such an enthused and passionate group of business people to be a central part of our 40th year.
“The activity will be focused on raising vital funds for our Enterprise Programme in the South West, enabling us to continue delivering positive outcomes for hundreds more young people now and for many years to come.”
Others members of the committee include Andrew Davies, head of South West ,LGT Vestra; John Milne, head of Preparatory School at Clifton College; Paul Spicer, partner at KMPG; Alastair Currie, owner of Alastair Currie Events; Andrea Cartwright, group HR director at SuperGroup; Will Robertson, partner at Osborne Clarke; Mark Mason, chairman of Mubaloo; Tim Lincoln, managing partner at Grant Thornton.
Pictured: Mike Beesley, seated centre, with members of the Prince’s Trust development committee and Trust staff