Stacey Fox: Prince's Trust Young Achiever of the Year
23 year old Stacey Fox, from Plasmarl, Swansea has won a royal award at The Prince's Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success Awards.
Stacey was named Young Achiever of the Year at the national final, which was held at the Palladium in London.
Previously, she won the award at the Wales finals in November.
HRH The Prince of Wales, founder and President of The Prince's Trust, joined 2000 guests, including Tom Hardy, Geri Horner, Rita Ora, Alesha Dixon, Bear Grylls and Dynamo, at a red carpet ceremony hosted by Ant & Dec.
The Prince's Trust & Samsung Celebrate Success Awards, now in their twelfth year, recognise disadvantaged young people who have overcome issues such as abuse, drug addiction, homelessness, depression and unemployment.
A series of regional events took place in November and December 2015 and culminated in the national final at the Palladium. Seven awards were given out by Prince's Trust Celebrity Ambassadors.
Stacey's incredible achievements means she was just one of three young people across the UK to be nominated for the Young Achiever of the Year award, which recognises young people who have struggled through unimaginable difficulties to transform their lives. Their stories are of resounding achievement and are now inspiring others to strive for such success.
Despite growing up with parents who were seriously ill, Stacey, 23 from Swansea, achieved five GCSEs at school and a place at college to study an NVQ. However, when her father's bowel cancer became terminal, Stacey left college to care for her mother, meaning she had to grow up very quickly and missed out on many things that teenagers typically take for granted.
By the age of 18, Stacey had tragically lost both of her parents, throwing her whole world into turmoil, and leading to depression and a breakdown. Despite being offered anti-depressants by her doctor, Stacey was determined not to be dependent on tablets and made a vow with her brother that they would get through things together.
It was then, while claiming Job Seekers Allowance that Stacey was introduced to Make Your Mark, a four-week employability programme run in partnership between The Prince's Trust and Marks & Spencer, and life began to change.
Working in the Swansea store's food department, she quickly learned how to deal with other people again and, as the weeks progressed, she began taking more initiative, faced up to new challenges and saw her confidence return. After impressing everyone with her attitude, she was offered a temporary contract and was delighted to be made permanent in June 2015.
On winning the award, Stacey said, "It feels amazing to win this award. The Prince's Trust has had such a massive impact on my life and I'm so grateful for all their support. I hope my story can inspire other young people to overcome their own challenges and achieve their goals."