A 71-year-old Lurgan man has scooped a prestigious award from Prince Charles after spending two decades volunteering for the Prince’s Trust.
Lyle English has today (Tuesday), been recognised for giving his time for free to inspire young adults across Northern Ireland.
He scooped the prestigious Good Morning Britain Volunteer of the Year Award, which celebrates volunteers who commit to giving young people support in education, training and employment.
The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards recognise young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their local community.
The star-studded ceremony held at Theatre Royal Drury Lane was hosted by Ant and Dec and attended by celebrity Ambassadors including Sir Ben Kingsley, Amal Clooney, Anne Marie, Mel C, Nicola Adams, Jonathan Bailey and Phoebe Dynevor.
Lyle said: “It has been wonderful being able to give something back to the community through The Prince’s Trust. It is a responsibility and opportunity we all have to pass on both our time and talent to nurture the next generation.”
Lyle English is now entering his twentieth year as a volunteer for The Prince’s Trust in Northern Ireland. Lyle started volunteering as a business mentor, offering his time and skills as a Leadership Coach to help young people take their first steps into self-employment.
From florists, to textile artists to engine cleaners, more than 40 young people have set up businesses in Northern Ireland with Lyle’s support.
“I have mentored a range of young people from across Northern Ireland. They have all had different challenges and needs, but each one has shown motivation and desire to do something better with their lives. It is a privilege to be a part of their journey.
“As I look back on some of the young people who I’ve been involved with I am grateful for the opportunity to help them change. I love supporting a young person who has a business idea, the motivation to set up their own business but doesn’t know how to put it all together.
“I find it very rewarding to share my experience and to mentor them to the point where they can fly solo. That gives me a real buzz.”
Broadcaster and journalist Kate Garraway said: “During his time as a volunteer, Lyle has inspired countless young people and has offered immense support in the capacity of both a business and progression mentor.
“He embodies the ethos of The Trust in all his voluntary activities and should be immensely proud of himself and the positive impact that he’s making to young peoples’ lives.”
Tim Peake, first British ESA astronaut to visit the International Space Station, said: “Lyle is incredibly deserving of the Volunteer of the Year Award. Dedicating his time in this way and setting up and chairing the Prince’s Trust Volunteering Hub, is such a heart-warming and selfless thing to do. He is an exemplary volunteer and I hope this award shows how thankful The Prince’s Trust is to him.”
Actress, Felicity Kendal CBE said: “Lyle is an incredible role model not only to the young people he inspires, but also to the fellow volunteers he supports through his work. His ability to have a positive impact on everyone who crosses his path, and his selfless nature, is truly something to be proud of.”
One of his current mentees, Louise Clancy, is a Makeup Artist from Newtownabbey.
Louise said “Lyle is very dedicated to his role as my business mentor. He checks in regularly and has instilled a lot of confidence in me, and completely shaped my mindset on how to run my business. He has helped me learn to manage my money efficiently and how to improve my business and services overall.
“He is the best mentor I could have asked for and I’m very happy to have been teamed up with Lyle.”
Lyle has not only supported his own mentees, but also other mentors in the community. He has set up and chaired a Volunteering Hub, which allows peer-to-peer volunteer support locally while encouraging other volunteers to support the work of The Prince’s Trust.
For the first time, The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards will be broadcast on ITV and ITV Hub. Tune in at 8:30pm on Thursday, May 26, to celebrate the remarkable achievements of young people who have overcome barriers and transformed their lives with the support of The Prince’s Trust.
The Prince’s Trust supports young people aged 11-30 to develop confidence and essential life skills to get ready for work, access job opportunities and live positive futures.
It helps tens of thousands of young people each year and three in four young people on The Trust’s programmes move into work, education or training.