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Boy in care wins “educational achiever” award

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A 16-year-old boy from Warrington, who was placed in care and split from his siblings has won the North West Educational Achiever of the year award at the Prince’s Trust Awards.
David Richardson was presented with the award at a ceremony at the National Football Museum in Manchester.
The awards recognise the achievements of disadvantaged young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life, and had a positive impact on their local community, as well as those who have played a part in supporting the work of The Trust.
David was in shock when he was split up from his siblings and moved into care.
He said: “We went into foster care because of problems at home. It was good to have stability, but I’d always looked after my brothers and sisters and now we’d been separated. I missed them. I still miss them. And I was sad and frustrated.
“I found it hard to trust people and I’d flare up in class. I’d just had enough of being told what to do.”
He became disengaged with school and was encouraged to join the Achieve programme – a Prince’s Trust course that builds the confidence and motivation of pupils who are struggling at school.
“The way they teach on Achieve is different to how I was being taught in class, “ said David.
“It’s more relaxed and there are way more activities. You do things there that you wouldn’t normally do and discover you’ve got talents you never even knew about. And that gives you a kick.
“I got a taste for landscape gardening during Achieve. In fact, I managed to get a work placement at a landscape gardening company which has evolved into a Saturday job!”
Life at school has calmed down too. David now has a 100 per cent attendance record, and is a polite, diligent and popular member of his year. He is expected to pass his core GCSEs and other vocational qualifications, and has been given an unconditional offer to study horticulture at college.
“It was a bit of a rocky start for me, but thanks to the encouragement I was given and the variety of skills I learned on Achieve, I’m much happier. And I’ve been offered a permanent job at the landscaping company once I’ve completed my second year at college.
“It feels amazing to have won the Educational Achiever of the Year award. I hope my story can teach others that, if you work hard and stay motivated in life, good things will come.”

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