Peterhead teen nominated for royal award

Simon Gemmell.
Simon Gemmell.

A young man from Peterhead who turned his life around with help from The Prince’s Trust Scotland, has been nominated for a prestigious award at the youth charity’s annual

Simon Gemmell is one of just three young people from across Scotland shortlisted for the AG Barr Flying Start Award at The Prince’s Trust & Samsung Celebrate Success Awards.

The AG Barr Flying Start Award recognises young people who, despite having faced substantial personal obstacles, are in sustainable employment as a result of a Prince’s Trust

Simon grew up in a turbulent household. He was 13 when his mother left her husband, and he began to lose his way. Simon thought his future would be in prison, but time on a Prince’s Trust programme proved that his prospects were far more positive than he’d ever imagined.

Simon (19), struggled at school; he was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, fell in with the wrong crowd and got into trouble for fighting both in and out of school. His behaviour was beginning to impact on his relationships with his mother and younger brother.

“I had no motivation, no education, no job – everything around me pointed to failure. I thought I had no hope.”

Simon’s criminal justice worker referred him to Team, a programme from The Prince’s Trust that aims to improve the employability prospects of unemployed young people.

“Team gave me the opportunity to take part in activities and challenges I would never have got to try. It made me learn to trust people – and that was a major breakthrough for me.”

During the course of the programme, Simon learned how to control his anger, work in a team, and build positive relationships with peers and authority figures. After graduating, Simon volunteered to work on the next programme as an Assistant Team Leader, helping others overcome their own barriers to a better life.