In May 2009 I went through the Prince’s Trust Business Enterprise programme to help me get into self-employment with my dream of becoming a greeting card publisher. From Monday to Wednesday this week I have been away in Saxmundham, Suffolk on an induction, following an invite to take on a role as Young Ambassador for the charity. Myself and twenty others from the South West and South East regions joined together at the lovely surroundings at Leiston Abbey to take part in the training to become a spokesperson for the Prince’s Trust. Each individual had been helped by the charity on some level whether this was getting into an apprenticeship, work experience or help with a business idea and we had all been asked to take part in this residential to learn more about the role of becoming a Young Ambassador.

Not usually one to enjoy team building exercises I found myself having a great time with every aspect of the course. I was also surprised to find myself amongst a group of really inspiring young people who were really friendly and together there was a real sense of fun and achievement. It was also a very humbling experience to see that so many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds had turned their lives around with help from the Trust. There were many a heated debate about the levels of unemployment and lack of help for young people, and the stories of each Young Ambassador were not only heart breaking but heart warming too.

Each Ambassador left the induction at a ‘passing out parade’ where we each received a t-shirt, pin badge and a set of business cards to hand out at events. My role as a Young Ambassador takes place over the next year where I will be asked to attend a variety of events, meetings, conferences, judging panels, etc using my experience to tell supporters of the Trust how I have been helped to achieve success after a spell of unemployment.

I already have my first event invite, which is to talk to a group of teenagers at a high school in Bristol about my experience of self-employment. I will have to do a presentation about the pitfalls of working for myself and running a business, and conduct a group discussion with the young entrepreneurs. I hope to be able to use my experience to offer advice and guidance to other young people, by talking through my journey of where I was and where I am now. I will be helped to do this by a day of public speaking training, learning some really important techniques when talking to large groups of people. There are lots of opportunites available as a Young Ambassador and I am sure the next year will add many experiences to my CV. I will post about the events each time they take place. It is a fantastic opportunity to travel, meet lots of people and develop my skills as a public speaker. It should be easy to talk about my business and experience as I know it well, but sharing this with a room of 500 people may be slightly nerve wracking. I’ll keep you updated on the events!