DETERMINED Sheffield teenager Ashley Allot turned his life around – and won himself a top award.
Ashley, aged 17, of Norton, was named runner-up in the Aagrah Breakthrough Award at The Prince’s Trust and L’Oréal Paris Celebrate Success Awards.
The event celebrated the outstanding achievements of individuals and groups in recognition of their achievements.
Ashley believes if he hadn’t got involved with The Prince’s Trust he would still be homeless with no direction in life.
“It’s a privilege to be named as runner-up for this award. I’m so much more confident since The Prince’s Trust helped me and I now feel like I can really achieve my goals,” he said.
Ashley had a tough upbringing. His father died in 2001 when he was just seven, he had a difficult relationship with his mother and was also bullied at school.
He left home due to family problems and ended up staying with relatives.
Despite all of this, he managed to achieve nine GCSEs.
But he found it hard living with his grandparents and ended up moving to a charity hostel for the homeless.
Ashley was out of work for three months and felt he had no direction.
Then he heard about The Prince’s Trust’s Team programme – a 12-week personal development course which gives unemployed young people the skills and confidence to find work – and enrolled in Rotherham.
The course helped to increase his self-esteem and gave him hope he could achieve things. He was inspired enough to try another trust course – Get Started with Football.
Ashley did his own coaching for other young people which helped to build up his confidence, team work and leadership skills.
The experience helped him to secure a sought-after place on Sheffield Wednesday FC’s coaching course.
And thanks to the support he received, his communication skills improved so much he can now confidently talk to new and large groups of people and he now has stable and positive relationships with his family.
Ashley has left the hostel and has high aspirations for his future. He is now doing football coaching and will be going to America in the summer of 2012 to coach.
The teenager wants to become a semi-professional player or go into managing and coaching teams and is currently on a level two coaching course with Sheffield Wednesday – and hopes to go on to level three.