A YOUNG man from Ryde, who fought alcohol problems and homelessness and turned his life around thanks to The Prince’s Trust, has finished runner-up in a national award.
Peter Head, 25, was nominated for the Samsung Young Achiever of the Year Award at the Prince’s Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success Awards at St Mary’s Stadium, Southampton on Tuesday.
The award recognises inspiring young people who have overcome barriers to transform their lives.
Peter had endured bullying at school and found the classroom challenging. He left school with few qualifications but made it on to a Skills for Life programme at college, a Prince's Trust spokesman said.
But he struggled to find employment and later, surrounded by negative influences, a domestic dispute forced him out of his flat share and he slept rough during the winter.
He turned to alcohol and sank into depression but his life took a positive turn when he heard about the Prince’s Trust Get Started with Football programme, a course which helps jobless young people gain qualifications.
With dreams of a career in football, he set about gaining qualifications in coaching. He is now an FA level two qualified coach.
He has raised cash for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice and received the Isle of Wight High Sheriff Award for his contribution to the community.
He said: "I love football and can now get paid for coaching. The Prince’s Trust course inspired me and my ambition one day is to start my own coaching business."
Speaking after Tuesday's ceremony he said: "It's an honour to finish runner-up for this award and I cannot thank the Prince's Trust enough.
"A few years ago I didn't have anywhere to live, but now I can see real future for myself."