Two volunteers from a village in North Yorkshire, who have dedicated their time to support aspiring mature entrepreneurs, have been presented with volunteer of the year awards by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.
Lindsay Cameron and Andrew Beaston, both from Sherburn in Elmet, have been volunteering for The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise (PRIME) and were presented with their awards at a reception hosted by The Prince of Wales.
The reception took place at St James’s Palace, London, to celebrate the success of PRIME entrepreneurs.
PRIME is a leading national charity helping people over the age of 50, who are unemployed or facing the threat of redundancy, with the support to achieve financial, social and personal fulfilment through sustainable self-employment.
Andrew Beaston took home the award for Mentor of the Year after he provided support and guidance to one of PRIME’s clients, Maggie Mellor, who went on to set-up her own dog grooming business in Meltham, West Yorkshire.
Andrew has considerable experience from working in a variety of senior roles within the manufacturing industry, as well as serving as the president of a rubber recycling facility in Atlanta Georgia, USA.
He now runs his own consultancy company, BRH Business Advisors, working across Yorkshire and the North East.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to work with PRIME and to receive an award is a great honour.
“Older people often have a wealth of skills and experience and it brings me huge satisfaction to impart some of my knowledge so that they can go on and set-up their own business.”
Since March 2012, Lindsay has been volunteering with PRIME in a mentor co-ordinator role working across the north of England in locations such as Leeds, Burnley, Preston and Manchester, as well as liaising with mentors provided through The British Bankers Association.
In her role, Lindsay has been helping the charity to recruit and train experienced business professionals to provide support to budding entrepreneurs.
She has also delivered training workshops for PRIME to help build-up business skills of people over the age of 50.
“I was completely taken aback when I found out that I had been named volunteer of the year and it was a great privilege to be presented with the award by HRH The Prince of Wales.
“I think people over the age of 50 who want to set up a business for themselves are incredibly brave and its pleasing to know that my efforts have made a real difference.”
The reception is part of a series of ‘Celebrating Enterprise’ events marking what The Prince and his charities have achieved in the area of enterprise.
In total, his charities have helped create more than 125,000 entrepreneurs across the world and provided business support to more than 395,000 people of all ages.
The event also highlighted PRIME’s Be a Business Champion campaign, supported by funds from the Social Action Fund, which has seen the charity recruit volunteers to drive and support enterprise by the over 50s across the country.
PRIME’s chairman, Richard Martin, said:
“Thanks to Lindsay and Andrew’s effort, we have been able to provide essential support to aspiring mature entrepreneurs whose options in the job market have been severely limited simply because of their age.
“The issue of unemployment amongst the over 50s is a major concern and one that is likely to get worse.
“Our work, therefore, is vital as it provides practical help where it is most needed and adds real value to the UK economy.”