Prince’s Trust award for man who turned around his life

Martin Meeuwissen
Martin Meeuwissen

A man who had a tough start to life and had become involved in petty crime has been honoured at a Royal awards ceremony after turning around his life with help from the Prince’s Trust.

Martin Meeuwissen, from Rothwell, won the American Express Breakthrough Award at the Prince’s Trust & Samsung Celebrate Success Awards at The Roundhouse, in Derby, on Wednesday, November 7.

Despite an unsettled upbringing, with his family moving from country to country, suffering bullying and even having suicidal thoughts as early as the age of eight, the 26-year-old is now starting to forge a successful career and says he was delighted to win the award.

He added: “I am delighted, I’ve had a hard year and put lots of hard work into it.

”Growing up was difficult and I was bullied because of my stammer. I was desperate and at a real low point when I discovered the programme but now things look good.”

He was born in the Netherlands before settling in the UK aged 11 but shortly after this his mother died and his step-mother died not long after that.

In his adult years he could only gain irregular employment, and had a problem with substance misuse and regularly got in trouble with the police.

However, since joining the Prince’s Trust Team Programme he is now working as a community support assistant for Olympus Care Services, a division of Northamptonshire County Council, and he is also a young ambassador for the trust.

Mr Meeuwissen believes it is thanks to the trust that he is in the position he is in today.

He added: “It is amazing now to be where I am and I feel like I am giving the trust something back for supporting me now I am representing them.”

Carly-Jayne Panter, 26, from Kettering, was also honoured at the awards – being named runner-up for the Creativeminds Young Ambassador of the Year.