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Business leaders raise over £50,000 to help change young lives in the North East

Unemployed young people hoping to transform their lives can look forward to a bright future, thanks to the support of business leaders across the region.

Over 400 guests from the business community gathered at the North East’s first ever Fundraising Dinner in aid of youth charity The Prince’s Trust at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead. All of the money raised will go towards helping young people in the region into jobs.

More than one in four (26 per cent) 1 young people in the North East are struggling to find work, highlighting the need for support from charities like The Trust.

The completely sold out event started with a champagne reception, and the guest speakers were BBC Sports Presenter, John Inverdale, and Prince’s Trust Ambassador and former professional footballer, Dion Dublin.

Entertainment was provided by the glamorous London Retro-Girlband, The Tootsie Rollers, and the evening was compered by Matt Lee-Alliston, another ambassador, who set up his now, highly successful, stage and production company with a grant from The Prince’s Trust.

Guests were treated to a grand finale of an exclusive ‘money can’t buy’ auction, with lots including a once in a lifetime trip to San Francisco to visit Apple’s global HQ and a week’s sailing in the Caribbean for six people. The auction alone raised over £12,000, with all proceeds going to The Prince’s Trust in the North East, to help unemployed young people who are struggling to find work.

The Fundraising Dinner was the brainchild of four of the North East’s leading business people – Ian Gilthorpe of Square One Law, Mick Thompson of KPMG, Chris Thompson of Express Group and Carole Beverley of TSG. They saw an opportunity to combine their contacts to obtain support from local businesses and raise a significant amount of money for The Prince’s Trust.

Ian Gilthorpe, of Square One Law said: “Youth unemployment is big issue in the North East so it great to see so many of the local business community coming together to help tackle this problem.

“The Prince’s Trust carries out vital work with young people in the region and to be able to get behind that and help change young lives is extremely important to us. The evening was a great success and the money raised will go a long way to ensuring that the young people here in the North East have the support and opportunities to move forward with their lives.”

Chris Gray, head of private sector fundraising, for The Prince’s Trust in the North East, said: “Without the fundamental support of the local business community in the region, The Trust would not be able to carry out the vital work it does to change young people lives.

“We need to raise over £1 million per week to achieve our work across the UK. Local fundraising activities like this are crucial to help us continue supporting disadvantaged young people to get their lives back on track and move into work, training or education.”

Guests were given the chance to hear from Dave Clayton, 29, owner of Northern Garden Sheds, who transformed his life with the help of The Trust’s Enterprise programme: “Without the support of The Prince’s Trust, I very much doubt I would be in the position I am today. I have gone from unemployed to running my own company, which is amazing.”

Thanks to funding from events like the Fundraising Dinner, The Prince’s Trust was able to support 3,700 young people in the North East last year, giving them the skills and confidence to find a job. Three in four young people on Prince’s Trust schemes move into work, education or training.

1. Office for National Statistics, Unemployment survey, January 2013

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