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Teenage Rishton volunteer's 'awesome' meeting with Prince Charles
8:00am Thursday 1st March 2012 in Rishton
A TEENAGE volunteer from Rishton had an “awesome” time meeting Prince Charles at Clarence House.
Jamie Woodruff, 18, of Burton Street, was invited to a Princes Trust reception celebrating the charity’s 15 years of working with football clubs, because of his role as the county’s only Sports Ambassador.
After reducing the audience to tears with the story of how he joined the Princes Trust, he is now set to embark upon a new chapter of motivational speaking.
Jamie was encouraged to attend a 12-week course at Blackburn’s branch of the Prince’s Trust by a support worker for dyslexia when he finished a dead-end job at 16.
He had previously been mugged and had low self-confidence, spending most of his time fishing. But during the course, which included residential trips and community tasks such as tidying the grounds of Blackburn Cathedral, his confidence blossomed.
Jamie said: “It was awesome and I got to shake the Prince’s hand.
“He spoke to me for 10 to 15 minutes, and said it was inspirational to see young people changing their lives and helping others.
“The palace was beautiful and I got to meet people like Jenson Button, Jeremy Clarkson, Dion Dublin and the chief executive of FIFA.
“I gave a speech about my life and how I got involved in the Prince’s Trust, and I could see it made some people in the audience cry.
“Then I got chatting to some executives of Blackburn Rovers, and they’ve invited to give a motivational speech there, and also a high schools are interested in something similar.
“It’s so amazing to get the chance to do this and to promote the great work the Prince’s Trust does.”
After helping a fellow course member to stop smoking cannabis by providing information, he was approached to be a volunteer sports ambassador.
Earlier this month, he was invited to a Downing Street reception as one of 80 youngsters who have volunteered to help disadvantaged 13 to 30-year-olds improve their lives through sport.
Jamie hopes he can use his love of ice skating to tap into other youngster’s sporting abilities, which require skills such as determination, equality and patience.