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Joanna meets the King after winning Prince’s Trust Young Achiever Award

South Manchester resident Joanna Drewett, aged 24, has been awarded the esteemed Homesense Young Achiever Award, presented by The Prince's Trust.

After battling significant mental health obstacles, Joanna has not only managed to flourish in her own career but has also become an influential figure as a Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador, inspiring countless others along the way.

She received her award at Buckingham Palace, presented by King Charles last week.

The Prince’s Trust, in collaboration with TK Maxx & Homesense, grants awards to young individuals who have defied the odds, transformed their life prospects, and made a positive impact on their local community.

Joanna’s remarkable journey and her ability to surmount substantial barriers have earned her the Homesense Young Achiever Award, acknowledging her role as an inspirational role model.

Joanna endured nearly a decade of mental health struggles before finally reaching out to The Prince’s Trust.

Today, she is making significant strides in her career and inspiring fellow young individuals through her role as a Young Ambassador.

At the age of 15, Joanna found herself admitted to a psychiatric hospital, which caused disruptions in her education and resulted in her completing school with only three GCSEs.

For the next few years, she experienced multiple hospital visits and was eventually diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

Due to her lack of qualifications, Joanna felt hopeless and believed she would never secure a meaningful job.

However, during her final months of hospitalisation, she resolved to give recovery one final chance and began researching The Prince’s Trust.

Immediately after being discharged, she enrolled in the Team program—a twelve-week self-development course—in 2018, hosted by the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

“The support I received at The Trust was unlike anything I had ever experienced in my life. My Team leaders were able to recognise my individual needs, and I felt valued and listened to.

“They helped me adapt to the ‘real world’ outside of the hospital and offered practical and emotional assistance,” Joanna shared.

She continued, “I started the Team program as someone who was afraid to speak up, lacking confidence, and scared to take action.

“By the end of the program, I had gained newfound confidence, a determination to succeed, and a genuine belief that I could improve and live a happy life.”

During the Team program, Joanna undertook a two-week work experience opportunity with N Brown, a leading digital retailer for clothing, footwear, and homewares.

Impressed by her performance, the company offered her a permanent position on their buying team.

Fast forward almost four years, and Joanna continues to work full-time, having advanced from an administrative assistant to the role of Junior Buyer.

In addition to her professional goals, she aims to seize every opportunity that life presents.

No longer reliant on any support services, Joanna has been medication-free for years and has successfully overcome self-harm.

Following the completion of the Team program, Joanna became a Young Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust.

In this capacity, she represented the organisation at numerous local and national events, elevating awareness of both The Trust and the challenges associated with mental health.

Ashley Clinton, a Team leader at the Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, spoke highly of Joanna, saying, “Joanna is an exceptional individual who used the Team program as a platform to realise and develop life-changing opportunities.”

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