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Student rebuilds his life at Glyndŵr University after illness setback

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An enterprise scheme which helped a teenager rebuild his life after serious illness unearthed a passion for working with young people so strong that he switched career before the age of 19.

Alex Perkins, of Connah’s Quay, spent most of his time in and out of hospital receiving treatment for the condition between the ages of 16 to 18, making study for his A-Levels impossible.

But although he put the time at home to good use, teaching himself graphic design skills, illness and the time out of school caused him to lose confidence and direction.

That was until he came across the Prince’s Trust’s Enterprise programme, which provides business support, mentoring, training and funding to 18-30 year old’s with a business idea.

Alex, 20, quickly started working with clients across the UK on design, photography and video projects, yet felt he could find work which was more fulfilling.

He secured a role as a Senior Job Ambassador with the Prince’s Trust, helping youngsters in North Wales to improve their lives.

Now, Alex is studying for a degree in Youth and Community at Glyndŵr University, with the aim of establishing a full-time career working with young people in the community.

“It started volunteering for the Prince’s Trust after completing the Enterprise programme and totally fell in love with the work,” said Alex.

“It was so rewarding being able to offer advice and support to young people facing different challenges, seeing them grow and make positive changes in their life.

“I was a young person myself who had come through a difficult time and that was important to the people I was working with,” he added.

Alex was accepted at Glyndŵr University based on a combination of qualifications and experience and is pleased to be realising his ambition of going to university.

His graphic design career has now taken a backseat while he concentrates on his studies and new career.

“I loved my job as a self-employed designer but I love working with young people even more,” said Alex, who is still working for the Prince’s Trust alongside his studies.

“Studying for a degree was something I always wanted to do and the course at Glyndŵr has been perfect really.

“I’ve been able to use some theory to reflect and look back on all of my experiences and that’s helped to improve my own skills working with young people.”

For more information on the work of the Prince’s Trust visit https://www.princes-trust.org.uk

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