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Specialist fund gets young people’s careers off the ground

The Hickinbotham Awards are an annual event at St Christopher’s. Our former Chair of Trustees, Tony Hickinbotham, wanted to carry on supporting our work after his retirement, so he set up the awards. Young people can apply for funds of up to £5,000 and can use the money to work towards their goals and build for their future.

Previous winners have said the awards had a really positive impact on their lives.

Rhiannon wanted to become a hairdresser, but needed some financial support to buy the equipment for her college course. She has since competed the first year of her apprenticeship and works in a salon alongside her studies. According to a member of staff who recently went to get her hair cut by Rhiannon, she is a whiz with the scissors!

Adam’s dream was to set up his own gardening business, so the first step was to pass his driving test so he could transport his tools around. With the support of staff, he has ordered his provisional licence, found a trainer and booked driving lessons. Adam has also been completing work experience placements in gardening to develop his skills in this area.

Suzy would like to become a professional make-up artist and wanted to practice the techniques she learnt from her college course at home. She passed her course with flying colours and is looking to develop her skills further with more study and setting up an online business promoting make up materials. She has used her new skills to great effect in her home, where she has run make up and pampering sessions for staff and young people, and has given everyone a new lease of life.

Without the support of the Hickinbothams, these young people would not have had the chance to develop their skills. Not only do the awards offer practical support, they also show young people that someone believes in them. This boosts their self-esteem and makes them feel that they can achieve.

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