Kirkby achiever Lucy: from failure to role model

INSPIRATIONAL -- Lucy Hunt (centre) receives her award from Jo Neal (right), of TK Maxx, and Kerry Mortimer, of its parent company, TJX Europe.
INSPIRATIONAL -- Lucy Hunt (centre) receives her award from Jo Neal (right), of TK Maxx, and Kerry Mortimer, of its parent company, TJX Europe.

She struggled at school and was unemployed for several years. But now Kirkby woman Lucy Hunt has been hailed as an inspirational achiever and a role model for others.

The recognition came at the Celebrate Success Awards, run by The Prince’s Trust charity and backed by nationwide high street store, TK Maxx, and its sister company, HomeSense. The awards honour the achievements of young people in the East Midlands who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their local community.

After forging a career in community work, Lucy, who is 26, was named runner-up for the young achiever of the year accolade and was lavished with praise at a special ceremony.

“Lucy endured a difficult start in life,” said a Prince’s Trust spokesman. “She struggled at school and had no vision for the future. This resulted in many years out of work and left her lacking in confidence and unsure about what to do next. But then she heard about the Prince’s Trust team programme, a 12-week personal development course that gives unemployed young people the skills and confidence to find work.

“With encouragement, she gradually got involved, her confidence increased and she began to lead activities. Lucy has since gone back to help with other Prince’s Trust programmes and motivated others with her own success. She is now studying for a degree in youth and community work and is determined to continue helping others through her career.”

A delighted Lucy said: “It felt great to be nominated for the award, to get to the final and to be recognised for what I’ve achieved. I’m really enjoying my degree and I am looking forward to the future.”

THIS year marks the 40th anniversary of the Prince’s Trust charity, which has helped to change the lives of 825,000 young people across the country.

Founded by Prince Charles in 1976, its purpose is to help get back on track the lives of disadvantaged people, aged 13 to 30, such as Kirkby’s Lucy Hunt.

Many of those supported are homeless, in care, suffering from mental health problems or have been in trouble with the police. Others simply lack qualifications, skills or self-esteem and need a leg-up into work, education or training.