Tees

Ex-prisoner wins Prince's Trust award

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arrive for the awards
Image caption The Prince said young people should not be given up on

A former prisoner who turned his life around to work with young people in Middlesbrough has received an award.

Nathan James, 27, from Leeds, received the Prince's Trust Young Achiever prize at the Pride of Britain awards.

After sharing a cell with a heroin addict, he decided he wanted to help stop young people from a life of crime and unemployment.

He has worked on a number of projects in the town to help young people.

Mr James had been jailed twice - and shot in the leg - before he was 23.

He did the Prince's Trust team programme to develop his mentoring skills.

'Gives hope'

He then worked as a Prince's Trust assistant team leader at Cleveland Fire Service, where he ran courses to prepare disadvantaged young people for work.

He now works for West Middlesbrough Neighbourhood Trust, where he runs a project for charity Just4Youth holding courses on finance management, beating stereotypes and drug awareness.

He said: "Last year I watched the awards programme in prison.

"I think it's inspirational. It gives people hope and with the different categories everyone can relate to someone.

"When I heard I'd won I broke down in tears.

"The prince gave me credit for turning things around. It means so much to be recognised for what I've done."

Mr James received his award from the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Prince Charles said: "The story of our winner tonight shows how we should never give up on young people.

"They have so much to give back and with the right support they can help change the lives of many others like them."

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