2020 ESF case study: The Princes Trust - Reaching Further Project

Reaching Further, delivered by the Prince’s Trust, offers individually-tailored, flexible support to 18 to 30 year olds who are unemployed (including long-term unemployed and economically inactive) to develop their personal, social and employability skills towards employment.

The project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.

Launching her own business

Having taken part in the Reaching Further project, this participant launched her own business and now uses the experiences gained on the project to help others.

The participant experienced anxiety and depression from a young age, but following a hospital stay in her mid-twenties, she has turned her life around by training as a baker and is now running her own business.

The participant said,

“I found everyday things like getting public transport difficult and couldn’t cope being around people. Everything came to a head when I went into hospital, but when I left I was determined to face my fears and find a way to make my dream of running my own baking business happen.”

Gaining qualifications

The first step was signing up for a bakery course and with the support of the tutors achieving a Level 3 qualification. The participant then got in touch with The Prince’s Trust after seeing a post on Snapchat about the Enterprise programme through the Reaching Further Project, which supports young people aged 18 to 30 make their business idea a reality. As well as learning how to run a business, there was also a grant available from The Trust to buy the equipment and stock needed to start operating the baking business.

She said:

“The first time I felt I achieved anything was on the day of my business launch. The main way I promote my business is through Facebook. A social media expert was at the launch and he told me that I had created a brand that people are buying into and to never change. To go from being bullied and told I was never good enough to hearing that, that was the day I changed and started to believe in myself.”

“It makes me so happy dancing round my kitchen baking orders for my customers, I’m in such a different place to where I was before. I was never someone who was going to just lie in bed and not try my best to succeed. I’m not ‘cured’ of my past but now I feel better equipped to cope.”

Becoming a Young Ambassador

Recently winning an award at The Prince’s Trust Awards in NI is recognition of what this participant has achieved. Now, wanting to use her experience to help others, the participant has volunteered with The Prince’s Trust providing baking sessions for young people and has signed up to become a Young Ambassador.

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