When Georgia, 20, from Fontley Way, was 11 years old, her family situation forced her into homelessness. With the help of the Get into Construction scheme run by Rydon and The Prince’s Trust she has found new opportunities in her life.
As a child, Georgia spent three years living secretly in her sister’s hostel, finally receiving housing support when she turned 14 years old. Without any emotional support, Georgia found school tough and she left with few qualifications.
Her downward spiral continued when she reached 17. She was moved to a council flat in a deprived area of South West London and the terrible condition of her flat left her feeling vulnerable and isolated. It was at this point that Georgia hit rock bottom. She found herself unemployed, with no job skills and no purpose except a desperate need to turn her life around.
Georgia signed up to the Get into Construction programme which Rydon was running soon after her Centrepoint worker referred her to The Prince’s Trust. The Get into Construction programme takes two weeks to complete and helps unemployed young people to gain an insight into the construction industry, and offers them the opportunity to be able to find a sustainable training and job.
She showed great determination to succeed on the course, travelling three hours a day to get to and from Rydon’s Packington Estate construction site, in Islington. Georgia was enthusiastic and worked hard to gain her CSCS card, which is the key qualification needed to work on a construction site, as well as learning skills such as carpentry, plumbing and plastering.
Upon finishing, Georgia was offered work by Rydon and SDP Solutions, one of Rydon’s subcontractors on the Packington Scheme. She received a Development Award from The Prince’s Trust to pay for travel costs to work and impressed her supervisors sufficiently to be offered an apprenticeship with Rydon. Georgia continues to work for SDP Solutions today on a number of Rydon’s construction sites across London, responsible for managing teams of mainly male workers.
Her incredible journey was recognised nationally when she was awarded the 2014 Pride of Britain Award Young Achiever Award, which affiliated with The Prince’s Trust, and she collected the accolade at a glittering televised ceremony.
On meeting Georgia, Prince Charles said: “Georgia is a wonderful example of why we must never stop striving to give young people the tools and encouragement they need to achieve their potential. She has overcome a number of difficult obstacles that would have seen many fall by the wayside, and not only has she done this but she is now helping others. I am delighted that she has won this award.”