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Businesses raise thousands for disadvantaged young people in the South West

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Written by: Hannah Baker | Posted 12 October 2017 9:25

Businesses raise thousands for disadvantaged young people in the South West

Business leaders across the West Country raised £160,000 for The Prince’s Trust at one of the charity’s biggest regional events.

The money raised at the annual Red Dinner, which took place at Ashton Gate, will help unemployed and disadvantaged young people in the South West find employment or embark on training or education. 

More than 460 business people from across the region attended the event, which was hosted by impressionist Jon Culshaw and saw Jason Donovan perform.

Entrepreneur Simon Hyett, 28, gave a speech about how the charity had helped him.

He said: “I had a difficult childhood, was repeatedly abused and as a consequence struggled with self-harm and drug addiction. Taking part in The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme really was a turning point for me. 

“I took part in the programme to explore starting my own business around my passion - snakes. The Prince’s Trust gave me the skills and information required to start a business, and more importantly showed me that my life is worth more than I believed. This was the light at the end of the tunnel.

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“Today I am free of addiction, my business is growing and I am volunteering as a Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador, to help support more young people the way I have been.” 

The night also included a performance from acapella group Bristol Suspensions and a silent auction.

Dougie Brown, senior head of programmes at The Prince’s Trust, said: “While there are no words that can adequately say thank you for the support of local businesses, they can rest assured it will help more young people make positive changes to overcome the challenges they face and transform their lives.”

The Red Dinner, which was sponsored by Superdry and LG Vestra, has raised more than £580,000 since its inauguration.

Euan Sutherland, chief executive of Superdry, said: “A particular highlight of the evening for all of us at Superdry was hearing from the people the charity has helped. It’s only when you hear the stories of their lives and what they have had to endure that you realise the impact The Prince’s Trust has at a grass roots level.

Andrew Davies, head of LG Vestra’s Bristol office, said: “We understand well the power of investment and there is none so powerful as when it is placed in people – particularly young people who have not had the best start to their lives.

“The support raised from events like The Red Dinner comes full circle as the Prince’s Trust directly works with the incredible individuals to build their own futures and businesses, which then goes on to benefit society as a whole.”


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