Young Morecambe man receives prestigious Prince’s Trust Award after overcoming drug addiction to help others

A former Morecambe drug addict who turned his life around has been recognised with a prestigious national award.
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Tom Evans, 23, has been named as the winner of the The Prince’s Trust Young Change Maker Award for for overcoming his addiction and continuing to give back to the community through his job as a support worker and volunteering.

The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards recognise young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their local community.

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Tom scooped the Watches of Switzerland Group Young Change Maker Award, recognising someone who has inspired others through their personal experience of turning their life around.

Tom Evans of Morecambe with his Prince's Trust Young Change Maker Award.Tom Evans of Morecambe with his Prince's Trust Young Change Maker Award.
Tom Evans of Morecambe with his Prince's Trust Young Change Maker Award.

Tom said: “A massive part of what motivates me now is wanting to help others who’ve had the same experiences as me to achieve what I have.”

Tom was living in supported housing, having recently completed a drug rehabilitation programme, when he joined Team, a 12-week personal development course with The Prince’s Trust delivered by Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.

After the programme he worked to help others overcome addiction and homelessness in his role as a support worker. He now works in a similar role but in a children’s home providing advice, assistance and support to young people whilst also balancing volunteering commitments and studying at college.

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“Before finding out about The Prince’s Trust, I was addicted to Class A drugs and prescription medication, and things spiralled to a point where I got drawn into County Lines activity,” said Tom.

"When I started the trust’s Team programme, although I’d finished my rehabilitation programme, I still found it difficult to trust other people or even myself.

“The Prince’s Trust helped me to see that I could be a leader. I took a few of the lads who were taking part in Team under my wing as I could see they were starting to follow the same path I’d been down.

"The residential week of the programme in particular was really good for us all. We went up to stay at the Lake District for a few days. I’d always enjoyed outdoor activities before my drug addiction so getting back into hiking and climbing was really good for me.

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"Team helped me commit to things and believe in myself a bit more.”

As part of the Team programme, young people are encouraged to develop their employment skills through a two-week work experience. Tom completed his at a local homeless support charity, where he continues to volunteer to this day.

He also volunteers with Lancashire police to help educate their staff on County Lines from a young person’s perspective.

While coming to The Prince’s Trust, Tom also dedicated himself to study by undertaking Psychology and Biology at college to further support his career.

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He added: “I am immensely thankful to The Prince’s Trust and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service for all the support that they’ve given me. They helped me along on the journey of finding my true self I had already started to embark on and helped me realise that I am a natural leader.

"It is my honour to accept the England Young Change Maker Award.”