Youngsters reaping rewards of Prince’s Trust collaboration

A NEW partnership between QPR and The Prince’s Trust has enabled young Londoners to access employability and education support.

The national youth charity, The Prince’s Trust, has co-located with QPR in the Community Trust at Loftus Road, in order to provide support to young people in West London.

The new partnership builds on an existing relationship between The Prince’s Trust and the Trust, the club’s charitable arm, to help disadvantaged young people move into training, employment and self-employment.

In the first six months of the partnership working QPR, The Prince’s Trust has supported more than 120 unemployed young people in boroughs including Ealing, Brent, and Hammersmith and Fulham, into work, education or training. Prince’s Trust programmes are now more easily accessible for young people in West London, engaging and supporting young people to move into training, employment and self-employment through a wide range of support at QPR’s stadium.

Bhadrika Parmer, 23 from Harrow, has been able to develop her skills and successfully secure work, following support from The Prince’s Trust and Queens Park Rangers.

Bhadrika, pictured below, told www.qpr.co.uk: “I had been unemployed for a year, and was starting to lose hope and motivation. I honestly wanted to give up, all the rejections knocked my confidence. I was upset, feeling depressed, and I was worried about money and being out of work for a year.

“I was then put in touch with The Prince’s Trust, and applied to join “Make Your Mark” a Get into Retail programme, run in partnership with M&S. I knew this was a chance for me to gain experience in an industry I wanted to work in, and that this programme would help me persevere on my job search.

“Get into Retail is an employability programme which helps young people develop skills and experience, to enable them to move into a sustainable job in the retail sector.

“When I first started the programme I was nervous and excited. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was ready to try something new. My work experience in the Harrow store was really great – I was able to learn all about the different roles in the store an all my colleagues were helpful and welcoming. The experience helped my build up my confidence, and push me out of my comfort zone in a good way.

“I have now secured a contract with M&S and I’m working in the same store where I did my work experience. I am really enjoying it, and would like to stay working with M&S. I also hope one day to start my own business, and I know that the experience of working in customer services will be helpful for the future.

“I was able to visit The Prince’s Trust at the QPR stadium, and if they hadn’t been there it would have been really difficult for me to take part in the programme – it would have been too far away and too expensive to get to.

“If there is anyone else struggling to find work, and feeling like they are losing their motivation, I would definitely say you should get in touch with The Prince’s Trust. I feel like if I hadn’t been on the Make Your Mark programme I’d still be looking for work now. The Trust has put me on the right path, and I feel more confident and like I know what I want to do next.”

Rozzy Amos, Director for London at The Prince’s Trust, added: “We have been delighted with the results of our collaboration with Queens Park Rangers, this year. The vital support of Loftus Road Stadium has helped us to reach more young people in West London, and complement the work we are already doing in East and South London.

“We are focusing our efforts on growing the support The Prince’s Trust can give to young people in London, as too often disadvantaged young people are shut-out from the opportunities available in the capital. We must do more to raise aspirations, develop life skills, uncover talent, and engage and connect communities. Working in collaboration with key partners such as Queens Park Rangers, we have ambitious plans to reach many more young Londoners, and to support them to reach their potential.”

Andy Evans, CEO of QPR in the Community Trust, said: “QPR in the Community Trust are delighted with the extra opportunities that The Prince’s Trust have provided for the young people of West London by being based here at Loftus Road Stadium.

“The co-location has led to hundreds more young people benefitting from the expertise and programmes of The Prince’s Trust through the use of welcoming and inspirational spaces within Loftus Road.

“By working together in partnership, QPR in the Community Trust and The Prince’s Trust place the needs of young people at the centre of both organisations programmes leading to positive outcomes for the participants.

“Football and its stadiums are uniquely placed to attract young people and offer programmes that help them fulfil their potential, in a very short space of time, The Prince’s Trust and QPR in the Community Trust are seeing great results and outcomes for the young people of west London. We look forward to further collaboration with The Prince’s Trust here at QPR.”

Queens Park Rangers in the Community Trust and The Prince’s Trust have been working together since 2011 as part of The Prince’s Trust Football Initiative in partnership with the Premier League and the Professional Footballers' Association. Over the last 20 years more than 25,000 young people have been supported by this partnership, which helps develop young people build confidence, motivation and team working skills through sport.