Harry is Young Learner of the Year

One of our young trainees, Cardiff local Harry Poole won the Overall Learner of the Year and Young Adult Learner at the Inspire! Adult Learning Awards

The Awards recognise the outstanding effort and commitment made by learners and tutors in pursuing their goals and realising their dreams.  Harry was nominated for the award by Wales trainer Lydia Bailey for his enthusiasm and determination to turn his life around by learning a new trade and setting up his own business.

At 21, Harry was homeless and had turned to drugs after his mother died suddenly.  His relationship with the mother of his child deteriorated due to his drug use, and after staying with friends for a while he moved into a homeless hostel in the area.  This is where he heard about a construction skills course with the Trust and realising he needed to turn his life around, decided to contact the Wales team. He showed real commitment to the course and achieved an Open College Network entry level 3 accreditation in Tiling. He went on to take part in a practical community project in which a group of young people helped build a shower facility at Media Academy Cardiff, an organisation that works with young local people in need of support. He learned a great deal from the course and enjoyed helping others that were experiencing difficulties like him.

Harry said, "I had no job, no home, no contact with my family and was on drugs. I just couldn't see a way out of the spiral I was in until I started the course and realised that gaining new skills and getting involved in new projects could help me to turn things around. I really couldn't be happier now."

The Trust supported him through his CSCS health and safety test, a requirement to work on a site, and provided him with a bursary for basic tools to get him started in the industry. Today, his confidence has increased, he is living in a new home, proud father to two children, and now runs his own home repairs business.

Trust trainer Lydia commented:

"Despite all the barriers he faced, Harry has shown a true commitment to learning and improving his own life as well as other people's. He now volunteers at his local church helping homeless people, as well as running his own company and raising a young family."

Harry commented:

"I feel overwhelmed that I have won these awards, it means a great deal to me as I never thought I would be in such a stable place in my life and to have so many people behind me to support me. Construction Youth Trust isn't just about learning new skills but teaching life skills that will stay with you forever "

Watch a video about Harry's journey here.