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Forty years on, one million young people supported

London, 05 Feb 2016

Over the past 40 years, The Prince’s Trust has supported close to one million young people across the United Kingdom - some of whom are the most marginalised and disengaged in our community.

Through various programs, The Trust’s work has led to three in four young people, aged between 13-30, moving into employment, volunteering or educational opportunities.

Jo Linfield, who works in Macquarie Group’s London office, is an advocate and supporter of The Prince’s Trust, an interest sparked from an information session she attended.

“I can relate and identify with the young people as I am not that much older,” she said. “Many people in our community are not that far off from falling into disadvantage or a difficult position, as often it depends on the path we choose to take in life. When I heard from some of the young people who were given opportunities by The Trust their impact hit home as it’s often the smallest actions that can have such a big influence at crucial stages of a young person’s life.”

Linfield was recently passed the ‘baton’ from her colleague Jen Chuppe, who was previously a staff champion for Macquarie’s partnership with The Trust.

“I had a great starting point because Jen had already garnered the support of so many Macquarie staff and the enthusiasm has always been there. From fundraising to long-term volunteering activities, support for The Trust is embedded in the organisation,” says Linfield.

Along with representing Macquarie on The Trust’s Women’s Leadership Group and mentoring a young business owner, Chuppe was the key instigator in organising a team fundraising challenge to Vietnam to raise funds for The Trust in 2014.

The all-female team completed a five-day, 100 kilometre trek and raised more than £57,000, including Macquarie Group Foundation matching. The team also won Macquarie’s 2015 Team of the Year Award in acknowledgement of their efforts, providing a further $A10,000 contribution to the charity.

In carrying on Chuppe’s passion and commitment, Linfield recently organised a group of Macquarie staff to provide practical support to The Trust through its World of Work Days program. Staff gave young participants a tour of Macquarie’s London office and provided interview tips and techniques, finishing up with mock interviews.

Linfield appreciated the number of staff who put their hands up to volunteer for the World of Work Days event: “We asked for four volunteers and so many people responded – some staff ended up on a waiting list.”

Other Macquarie staff in London regularly support The Trust through team volunteering, mentoring and fundraising activities, including Executive Director Gordon Parsons who has completed several marathons in support of The Trust. In 2016, he will trek the Great Wall of China as part of another fundraising initiative.

The Macquarie Group Foundation has also supported the charity since 2008 and funds The Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index – an annual survey of young people’s well-being.

In celebration of its fortieth anniversary, this year The Trust will publish a research report into the impact the organisation has made and the issues that young people continue to face.

The Trust is now expanding internationally to support young people in securing employment.

‘‘Since our President, HRH The Prince of Wales, set up The Prince’s Trust in 1976, nearly one million disadvantaged young people across the UK have been helped,” says Alan Kennedy, CEO of Prince’s Trust International.

“We want to use this expertise and experience to help organisations overcome the global issue of youth unemployment, and have set up Prince’s Trust International to focus on supporting young people overseas.”

And for Jo Linfield, this support has two-way benefits: “My volunteer work with The Trust is so far removed from my day to day work, which I find incredibly rewarding, but most importantly the support we’re providing is making a huge impact in young people’s lives in so many communities, and that’s what keeps me going."

Image caption: The Prince’s Trust has supported nearly one million disadvantaged young people in the United Kingdom since 1976. Macquarie Group has been supporting this work since 2008 through grants, staff volunteering and fundraising.