A GROUP of inspirational young people have been recognised for overcoming personal hardships at a royal awards ceremony.

As part of The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense awards, young people from across the North-East were awarded at a ceremony at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead last week.

Among those recognised was Chris Ingoe, from Redcar, who received the North-East Ascential Educational Achiever award for motivating others through his passion for art.

Chris had his dream job working in outdoor education and adventure experiences for young people. But then medical reasons meant that he had to leave the job that he loved. His motivation plummeted and he began to feel isolated. Chris decided to join the Fairbridge programme and has slowly gained back his confidence. He is now working as a Casual First Aider for St John Ambulance, and hopes one day to become a trained paramedic.

On winning the award, Chris said: “Deciding to believe in myself and take part in the Fairbridge programme is one of the best things I’ve ever done. To now have a job I enjoy, plans for the future, and to win this award feels amazing!”

Jonathan Blanks, Vice President of Property at Ascential said: “Well done to Chris on winning the Educational Achiever Award. He is a complete inspiration and I’m sure we can expect big things from him in the future.”

Achieving the Legal & General Rising Star award was Charleigh Morritt from Stockton.

Previously Charleigh suffered with anxiety to the extent that she found herself unable to do simple things like leave the house or get on a bus. Deciding that it was holding her back, she shut herself away.

She joined the Fairbridge programme and afterwards got a job at Primark. She also returned to college and secured herself an unconditional offer to study law at university.

On winning the award, Charleigh said: “The Fairbridge programme was a chance for me to build my self-esteem and winning this award is boosting my confidence even more.

"To be going on to university to study law feels amazing and I’m really grateful to The Prince’s Trust for all of its support.”

The Prince’s Trust helps young people to develop the confidence and skills they need to realise their ambitions and careers.

Three in four young people helped by The Prince’s Trust move into work, training or education. To date, The Trust has helped over 950,000 young people.