Three senior East Midlands business figures have joined the board of Enthusiasm Trust.
April Hayhurst, Dean Jackson and Marcus Shepherd will bring a wealth of knowledge to the benefit of vulnerable young people across the country.
Enthusiasm runs projects geared at giving opportunities to teenagers who are at risk of falling into crime.
Last year, it was given a Queen’s Award for its innovative programmes which run in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Greater Manchester, Northumbria and Surrey.
April, who is Deputy Principal of Derby College, said: “I am passionate about enabling young people to change their lives. Some are not born into great surroundings. We have a duty of care to these young people because if we don’t give them our time, who will?
“I was involved with a project aimed at ending gang and youth violence and the young people involved levitate to those who they feel comfortable and accepted by and to some degree they have become unseen and unheard.
“It becomes a difficult cycle to break if you are not noticed or given an opportunity to change. Of those young people who started the programme, 50 % entered sustained employment and changed their lifestyle.”
“I saw that when you show these young people a small amount of respect, they give an abundance back. If I can help one person change their path then being involved will be entirely worthwhile.”
Marcus Shepherd, Principal of Nottingham Academy’s Wells Academy Campus, said: “I am very passionate about young people ensuring they are as good as they can be.
“Having overcome the obstacles of being from a single-parent family and from an ethnic minority, I believe I can help those from difficult backgrounds believe that they can achieve. Enthusiasm’s values align with mine and I felt my skillset and understanding barriers, can help.
“Young people need a support mechanism – Enthusiasm provides them with support, guidance and safety and understands the issues they face.”
Dean Jackson is the owner and founder of Huub, the world leader in triathlon wetsuits and skins. He is dyspraxic and created what is now a global company from the garage of his Derby home.
He said: “I have known about the work of Enthusiasm for some time – its work with young people has helped me have a broader understanding of the world we live in even if at times it isn’t to our own liking or expectations.
“I am hoping my passion for Derby and belief in the opportunities that should be offered to all, will mean I can support the Trust in delivering sustainable and exciting programmes well into the future.
“And, of course, these will not only be of benefit to Derby but other cities and towns where the Enthusiasm team operates.”
Enthusiasm Chair of Trustees, Phillip Perkins, said: “We are so pleased to have such high calibre people joining our board.
“We are already very proud of the results which Enthusiasm achieves with young people but I am sure that April, Marcus and Dean can push us on to an even higher level.”