Inspirational teen up for royal award

Dominic Grove is inline for an award through the Prince's Trust
Dominic Grove is inline for an award through the Prince's Trust

A teenager from Fleetwood who turned his life around is one of just three young people in the UK contending for a top royal award.

Dominic Grove, 17, has been nominated for a national award at The Prince’s Trust & L’Oréal Paris Celebrate Success Awards on March 23 at London’s Leicester Square Odeon.

The ceremony, now in its seventh year, recognises the achievements of young people who have succeeded against the odds.

Among the celebrity guests will be L’Oréal Paris celebrity Cheryl Cole, who has recently set up her own charitable foundation with The Prince’s Trust.

Dominic is up for the Novae Educational Achiever Award which honours exceptional young people who have beaten the odds to achieve success and inspire others.

At the age of nine, Dominic, was taken into care and forced to move away from his family and school friends. With the help of The Prince’s Trust Dominic, has turned his life around and is now much more confident about what the future holds.

After starting secondary school, Dominic was moved from care home to care home and became known to the police because of the various anti-social activities he was engaged in.

He said: “I didn’t feel where I was living was the right place for me. I was being led astray by other people and was hanging around the streets not doing anything with my life.”

After moving in with his gran and her husband, Dominic signed up with alternative education provider, the McKee Centre. He started attending one morning a week, eventually requesting to attend full-time. It was here where things started to change for Dominic.

The centre signed him up for The Prince’s Trust xl programme, a two-year course for young people at risk of underachieving, truancy or being excluded.

At first Dominic found it difficult but, through the support of his fellow xl club members and advisors, he started to come out of his shell.

He said: “Working as a team during the course gave me a lot of confidence and really helped me find out what I wanted to do.”

Dominic decided he wanted to pursue a career in media and applied to study Level 2 media studies at the local college. He was accepted on to the course, the first time the college have permitted McKee students onto a Level 2 programme.

The teenager completed the course and even won a college award for his commitment. He is currently studying a subsidiary diploma in Media Studies and next year will study a Level 4 extended diploma.

He said: “When I was told that I would be in the national final I was really excited. I’ve never been to London before so I can’t wait.

“The Prince’s Trust really helped me calm down and made me realise what I wanted to do with my life. “Before their help, I would have never had the confidence to apply to college but now I feel I can achieve anything I put my mind to. I’m even considering teaching so one day I can possibly help other young people.”