A young man who turned his life around with help from The Prince’s Trust was chosen to represent Larne at the youth charity’s star studded youth forum in London last Friday.
Philip Jamison, (22) from Larne was one of 23 Prince’s Trust young people chosen to ask questions at the forum, which saw singer Emeli Sandé, Jameela Jamil, Laura Whitmore, rapper Wretch 32, Game of Thrones actor Ed Skrein, and actor and director Adam Deacon offer advice and inspiration to young people.
Philip was tasked with quizzing the celebrity ambassadors on behalf of young people who are worried about this week’s GCSE results, struggling to find work or feeling hopeless about the future.
The celebrities shared their stories of how they have overcome the odds to achieve success in their careers.
Philip was asked to become a Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador after he was supported by the youth charity. He left school at 16 with no qualifications and spent some years flitted in and out of short-term contract jobs.
Unsure about what he wanted to do with his life and after a 15-month period of unemployment, he heard about The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme. With a keen interest in table tennis, Philip put together a business plan to turn his hobby into a pay cheque.
His business, Jamison Table Tennis Coaching, has now been running for almost two years.
He has worked with his Prince’s Trust business mentor to develop his sales and marketing strategy and runs his coaching sessions in schools and clubs across Northern Ireland.
He described the forum as “ a brilliant day”.
able to meet the celebrity ambassadors was great because it showed me that if you have a talent, support from others and a positive, hardworking attitude then you do have a chance of getting somewhere in life. What I got out of today was that determination is key, but also not to be so hard on yourself - whatever happens, it will be okay in the end.”
With GCSE results due out next week, many young people are struggling to cope with the pressure to succeed. Recent research from The Prince’s Trust shows that thousands of young people are so worried about exam results that it is affecting their health. One in six young people (17 per cent) has experienced panic attacks due to exam stress, and more than one in ten (15 per cent) says they are unable to sleep at night. 
MTV presenter and Prince’s Trust Ambassador Laura Whitmore, who hosted the Youth Forum, said: “While today’s school leavers are facing the toughest job market in history – they should not give up hope.
“You can find your dream job or even start your own business with help from organisations like The Prince’s Trust – no matter what background you’ve had. Young ambassadors like Philip show that you can always turn things around.”
The Prince’s Trust supports disadvantaged young people, more than half of whom have left school with few qualifications. The youth charity runs intensive training schemes for struggling school leavers, giving them the skills and confidence to find work. Three in four young people on Prince’s Trust schemes move into work, education or training.
Antonio Simoes, Head of HSBC in the UK, said: “We know that with the right support and encouragement young people can achieve their goals and fulfil their potential, regardless of their start in life.
“To support this, this summer we announced our new Opportunity Partnership, working with four UK youth charities, including The Prince’s Trust, to help 25,000 disadvantaged young people into education, training and work, enabling them to make a contribution to their family, community and wider society.”