Idris Elba and David Oyelowo reveal how the Prince’s Trust changed their lives


Idris Elba has joined a group of celebrities and creatives to thank the Prince’s Trust in a new video released by the charity today to celebrate helping one million young people.

In the clip the actor, 48, says it was help from Prince Charles’ charity that gave him the start he needed to launch his now blockbuster career.

‘When I was about 18 years old, I had the wonderful experience of auditioning for The Prince’s Trust,’ he says.

In the clip the actor, 48, says it was help from Prince Charles' charity that gave him the start he needed to launch his now blockbuster career

Idris Elba has joined a group of celebrities and creatives in a video to thank the Prince’s Trust in a new video released by the charity today to celebrate helping one million young people.

‘I was awarded £1,500 by The Prince’s Trust that gave me my start and my career.’ 

Idris, who was born in east London to Sierra Leonen father and Ghanaian mother, has since become a household name for his work on TV and film, having won both Emmys and BAFTAs. 

The Luther star has worked with The Prince’s Trust for years, and recorded a short video in 2010 showing him meeting with youth work  Dante Lauder-Hawkins for the charity. 

In the video, he shares that he grew up on a council estate in Hackney, adding he is ‘so proud’ to come from the area. 

The Luther star has worked with The Prince's Trust for years, and recorded a short video in 2010 showing him meeting with youth work Dante Lauder-Hawkins (pictured in 2010)

The Luther star has worked with The Prince’s Trust for years, and recorded a short video in 2010 showing him meeting with youth work Dante Lauder-Hawkins (pictured in 2010)

Meanwhile,  Selma star David Oyelowo and MOBO-winning music producer Naughty Boy also revealed how grants from The Prince’s Trust helped them.

Naughty Boy, real name, Shahid Khan, 35, says he approached the charity when he was 20 in the hope of starting his own company.

‘I didn’t expect them to help me or think that I could start my own business.

Meanwhile, David Oyelowo said his credits his grant with cementing his 'desire to become an actor' as the money allowing him to join the National Youth Music Theatre

Meanwhile, David Oyelowo said his credits his grant with cementing his ‘desire to become an actor’ as the money allowing him to join the National Youth Music Theatre

‘Without the Prince’s Trust, I don’t think I would have taken it as far as I did.’

Soon after receiving the £5000 grant, the DJ won £44,000 on Deal Or No Deal, giving him a decent sum to buy recording equipment.  

He has since gone on to collaborate with Beyonce, Sam Smith, Joe Jonas, JLS and Tinie Tempah among others.

Meanwhile, David Oyelowo said he credits his grant with cementing his ‘desire to become an actor’ as the money allowed him to join the National Youth Music Theatre.

Naughty Boy, real name, Shahid Khan, 35, says in the video he approached the charity when he was 20 in the hope of starting his own company. He is pictured with Prince Charles in 2018

Naughty Boy, real name, Shahid Khan, 35, says in the video he approached the charity when he was 20 in the hope of starting his own company. He is pictured with Prince Charles in 2018

Naughty Boy has since has since gone on to collaborate with Beyonce, Sam Smith, Joe Jonas, JLS and Tinie Tempah. He is pictured in the clip

 Naughty Boy has since has since gone on to collaborate with Beyonce, Sam Smith, Joe Jonas, JLS and Tinie Tempah. He is pictured in the clip

Soon after receiving the £5000 grant, Naughty Boy won £44,000 on Deal Or No Deal, giving him a decent sum to buy recording equipment, he's pictured in 2009

Soon after receiving the £5000 grant, Naughty Boy won £44,000 on Deal Or No Deal, giving him a decent sum to buy recording equipment, he’s pictured in 2009

‘I was about 17 and really wanted to be part of the National Youth Music Theatre but myself and my parents couldn’t afford it,’ he explains.

‘I got the grant and I got to be part of the National Youth Music Theatre and it’s really where my desire to become an actor became cemented.

‘And it’s also where I met my future wife, Jessica, so I have the Prince’s Trust to thank for a lot.’

David, who is best known for playing Martin Luther King in the Oscar winning Selma, lives in LA with his actress wife and four children.

Rock bands Elbow and the Streophonics also feature in the video to thank the Prince's Trust. Guy Garvey (pictured) lead singer for Elbow, say he and the band owe their lives to the charity

Rock bands Elbow and the Streophonics also feature in the video to thank the Prince’s Trust. Guy Garvey (pictured) lead singer for Elbow, say he and the band owe their lives to the charity

The Stereophonics also appear in the clip, recalling how a grant from The Trust was the key to helping them 'to play in the pubs and the clubs' before signing a record deal in 1996

The Stereophonics also appear in the clip, recalling how a grant from The Trust was the key to helping them ‘to play in the pubs and the clubs’ before signing a record deal in 1996

However, he split his childhood between Nigeria, where his grandfather was king of state, and the UK, where he spent times in hostels.  

Rock bands Elbow and the Streophonics also feature in the video to thank the Prince’s Trust.   

Guy Garvey, lead singer for Elbow, says he and the band owe their lives to the charity. 

He explains that receiving the grant ‘was a tangible sign of respect’ for what they did, which they ‘didn’t have it elsewhere’.  

The Stereophonics also appear in the clip, recalling how a grant from The Trust was the key to helping them ‘to play in the pubs and the clubs’ before signing a record deal in 1996.

The Duchess of Cornwall speaks with Kelly Jones, lead singer of the Stereophonics, at a reception at Buckingham Palace in London to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 2019

The Duchess of Cornwall speaks with Kelly Jones, lead singer of the Stereophonics, at a reception at Buckingham Palace in London to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 2019

 ‘We needed some speakers, and then that allowed us to go play in the pubs and clubs and play our songs and stuff,’ they explain. 

Others, like Emmanuel Olaojo who founded a business after completing The Trust’s Enterprise programme, recall how the charity has given them the confidence in themselves ‘to push through’ and ‘gain valuable life experiences’, which have ultimately helped to turn ‘dreams into reality.’

Other famous alumni of Prince’s Trust include the magician Dynamo, the rock band Muse and the entrepreneur behind Trunki suitcases, Rob Law. 

The million milestone comes for The Trust at a time when the deepening jobs crisis is hitting young people the hardest. 

Young people experienced the biggest fall in employment in the three months to July, which means there are now enough unemployed young people to fill Twickenham stadium more than six times.

The Prince’s Trust helped more than 70,000 young people last year to build confidence and skills. 

The employability and enterprise courses offered by The Trust, which are run both in person and online, give young people the practical and financial support needed to stabilise their lives.

The Prince of Wales, pictured, has warned that as many as one million young people could need 'urgent help' due to coronavirus

The Prince of Wales, pictured, has warned that as many as one million young people could need ‘urgent help’ due to coronavirus

It comes as The Prince of Wales warned that as many as one million young people could  need ‘urgent help’ due to coronavirus.

He said our youth was confronting a ‘uniquely challenging’ time amid the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a rare intervention, Charles said the ‘destructive hopelessness’ of unemployment is facing Britain’s youngsters once again.

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph yesterday,  he said the young are in particular need of measures to protect them from the worst effects of the crisis, adding that the country must not let optimism ‘drown beneath a deluge’ of economic predictions. 

Reflecting on how he founded the Prince’s Trust charity in 1976, with the severance pay he got from the Royal Navy, Charles added: ‘I am old enough to remember other times when hope was scarce and pessimism seemed the only thing in abundant supply.

‘In the mid-Seventies, when I left the Royal Navy, youth unemployment was one of the pressing issues of the time. It seemed to me that we should do something to try to make a difference, however small.’

The Prince’s Trust, has just helped its millionth young person, with research from the Trust showing that 55 per cent of 16 to 25-year-olds are more worried about being unemployed than they were a year ago.

The Prince’s Trust set up the Young People Relief Fund in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic to provide extra support to those hit by the economic fall-out. 

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