A CHORLEY teenager has won a Prince's Trust Award after overcoming a difficult start to his life.

Jack Lucas, 19, from Chorley, has won the North West Breakthrough award at The Prince’s Trust Awards.

By his own admission, Jack went off the rails but thanks to the Trust, has got his life together and has no bagged himself a job.

He said: “I went off the rails. I got into fights, left home, and sofa-surfed whenever I could. When I couldn’t, I slept in the park. Sleeping out in a place like that in the winter, it really affects you.

“Dad heard about Team on the radio and said I should go. I needed something positive to focus on, and that’s exactly what Team is.”

Team is a 12-week programme from The Prince’s Trust that builds the confidence and skills of unemployed young people so that they are better equipped to find work.

He said: “I have so many memories from that programme, like going on a night walk during our residential and helping those at the back. And telling the instructor that I wanted their job. My Team leader sat me down with the instructor at the end and talked me through the skills and qualifications I’d need. I was so taken aback that they believed I could do it. That alone gave me a massive confidence boost."

Making the most of that second chance, Jack worked hard to impress and landed an interview at the end for an activity instruction apprenticeship. He used a Prince’s Trust Development Award – funding that removes the financial barriers that would otherwise prevent young people from accessing work, employment or training – to pay for transport to and from the interview, and the rest is history.

He said: “The Prince’s Trust put their neck out for me and made me believe in myself, and now it’s like I’ve come full circle because I’m a live-in apprentice at the activity centre, making my life a success by helping others!”

The North West ceremony will take place in Manchester on Thursday, November 2.