Cardiff Airport Flying Start Award winner announced
Published: 18 November 2010
A Cardiff youngster has won a major award for the way he has turned his life around from homelessness and unemployment, to having a worthwhile job and a budding acting career.
Twenty one year-old Craig, from Cardiff was crowned winner of the Cardiff Airport Flying Start Award at the Prince's Trust Cymru Celebrate Success Awards at The Coal Exchange in Cardiff Bay, which recognise young people who have succeeded against the odds.
Presented by a host of Welsh stars including Huw Stephens of BBC Radio 1, Lucy and Rhodri Owen, presenter Chris Corcoran, as well as sporting stars from Cardiff City and Cardiff Blues, 'Celebrate Success' rewarded the achievements of young people who have struggled to overcome barriers in their lives, and the people and organisations who have supported them.
Just over a year ago, Craig was homeless and unemployed and did not know where to turn. Living in a hostel after problems at home, and unemployed for two years, Craig was increasingly frustrated and desperate.
Craig's home life had always been turbulent and after a particularly hostile argument, he was told to leave. Craig had nowhere to go, drifting between extended family to avoid living on the streets.
He eventually found a place at Northlands Hostel - which is run for young people by the Salvation Army. It was here, through his project worker, that Craig heard about The Prince's Trust 'Get Started with Drama' course. Although he wasn't particularly interested in drama, Craig was desperate for something positive and constructive to do.
Craig threw himself into the course with enthusiasm and commitment. He was always on time, willing to try new things and support his colleagues. Although he had no drama experience, he discovered that he had a natural talent for acting, with perfect comedy timing.
During the course, Craig's confidence soared and his communication skills improved day by day. For the final challenge the group had to write, direct and perform a play to be performed in the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff. Craig's performance exceeded all expectations and staff at the theatre were impressed
Craig is now working full time as a carer for disabled people. He has also pursued acting and has enrolled in a drama group at Sherman Cymru. Craig has already taken part in two performances and is working towards a BTEC Level 1 in drama.
Craig said: "Without the 'Get Started with Drama' course I would never have discovered acting. I don't know where I would have ended up without the support of The Prince's Trust and the course."
Since the course, Craig has found the confidence to move on with his life and look at new opportunities. Craig has even mentored subsequent 'Get Started with Drama' participants. Despite the many barriers and challenges he faced, Craig never gave up and has completely turned his life around. He said; "I was unemployed and homeless, and now I'm working, and seriously pursuing drama, which I love."
Cassie Houghton, Marketing and PR Manager at Cardiff Airport who sponsored the award, said: "We were delighted to be working with The Prince's Trust and supporting the Flying Start Award this year. The Celebrate Success Awards are a great platform to showcase the achievements of the extra ordinary young people in Wales and will hopefully encourage other young people to follow in their footsteps."