Young Cookstown woman in line for award
A TWENTY EIGHT year old form Cookstown, who has turned her life around with the help of the Prince’s Trust, has been nominated for a prestigious royal award.
Grace McElhone has been nominated for the Ulster Bank Enterprise Award at the Prince’s Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success Awards to be held this month.
The award recognises young people who have overcome barriers and achieved success in creating a sustainable business or social enterprise.
Grace thought her life was over by the time she reached her twenties. Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, specialists advised her to abandon thoughts of employment.
With a Bachelor’s Degree in food technology, Grace managed to find work as a team leader within a major fast food outlet. But her illness meant that she had to leave her job and support herself on incapacity benefits.
Without motivation, Grace reached the stage where she did not want to get out of bed in the morning. Her life had become dull and meaningless, and she soon sank into depression.
Convinced she would never work again, she later came to the conclusion that her only other option was to start her own business.
The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme is designed to help young people interested in self-employment to set up in business. After her future had been all but written off, it was a relief to hear an encouraging voice when she spoke to a representative from The Trust.
While on the Enterprise programme, Grace received valuable advice and help in creating a business plan. She also learned the fundamentals of monitoring cashflow and general business management.
With The Trust’s support, Grace soon opened her catering company, ‘Hungry Junction,’ providing nearby workers with breakfasts and lunches.
Hungry Junction is growing daily. Grace is constantly learning new skills and faces fresh challenges each day. She receives ongoing support from The Trust via her business mentor who is always available to discuss problems or ideas.
Doctors have noted how running a business has had a positive impact as far as Grace’s illness is concerned. Grace now has a new outlook on life; “I am so thankful to The Prince’s Trust for the support I received,I love my new life and I am very proud of my business.”
Stephen Cruise, Head of Branch Banking, Private and Financial Planning NI at Ulster Bank said: “Ulster Bank has been working with the Prince’s Trust for over ten years and we are delighted to recognise the enterprising spirit of our young people through this important Enterprise Award.
“Every business will face obstacles along the way and having overcome barriers to establish their enterprises each of the entrants in this category have shown they have the talent and tenacity required to build a sustainable business for the future.”
The awards ceremony will take place at The Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey on 14th November 2012.
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Weather for Dungannon
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
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Temperature: 8 C to 15 C
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