Actors Idris Elba and David Oyelowo, Elbow lead singer Guy Garvey and the DJ Naughty Boy are among the celebrities who have marked the Prince’s Trust’s milestone of helping one million young people.
The stars appear in a video to share their own experiences of being supported by the youth charity, which was set up by the Prince of Wales more than 40 years ago.
Bafta-winning actor Elba tells how he was given £1,500 from The Prince’s Trust when he was about 18 and “that gave me my start and my career”.
Selma actor Oyelowo recalls how his “desire to become an actor became cemented” when he was 17 and he was given a grant from the Trust to enrol with the National Youth Music Theatre after his family had not been able to afford for him to join.
He added: “It’s also where I met my wife Jessica so I have the Prince’s Trust to thank for a lot.”
Garvey remembers how the support Elbow received “was a tangible sign of respect” for what they did.
Producer Naughty Boy, who received a Prince’s Trust start up loan when he was 20, says: “I didn’t expect them to help me or think that I could start my own business.
“Without the Prince’s Trust, I don’t think I would have taken it as far as I did.”
The Stereophonics also appear in the footage, with lead singer Kelly Jones describing how they are indebted to the Trust for giving them the money for speakers when they were first starting out.
“We needed some speakers so then that allowed us to go play in the pubs and the clubs and play our songs and stuff,” Jones says.
They were signed soon after in 1996.
The one million milestone comes as heir to the throne Charles warned that there has “never been a time as uniquely challenging as the present”, and that the coronavirus crisis would leave more young people in need of support.
As part of the Trust’s response to the pandemic, it has launched a Get Hired Jobs Board to match employers with young people who are ready to work, and established a Coronavirus Support Hub to provide guidance and resources for young people facing challenging times ahead.
The Trust, which was set up in 1976, supports 11 to 30 year-olds who are unemployed, struggling at school and at risk of exclusion.
It helped more than 70,000 young people last year to build confidence and skills.
Three out of four young people on Prince’s Trust programmes move into work, education or training.
Other famous alumni supported by the organisation include the magician Dynamo, the rock band Muse and the entrepreneur behind Trunki suitcases, Rob Law.