Lenique, from Lambeth, had started drinking and taking drugs after falling in with the wrong crowd. As her life spiralled out of control, she became depressed, and she felt like there was nothing to get up for in the morning.
However, Lenique was desperate to turn things around, and started therapy to deal with her depression. “As I started to get better, I knew I needed to find a job and have something positive to focus on,” she says. “My therapist recommended The Prince’s Trust, so I went and asked them for help.”
Lenique has a passion for jewellery, and since her early twenties had been making jewellery in a makeshift studio in her grandmother’s garage.
She told us: The Prince’s Trust gave me the idea to set up my own jewellery making business. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do it alone but with support from The Trust, I started to feel like anything was possible.
Lenique joined The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme, taking part in a four-day workshop to learn the basics of business. She also received a loan from The Prince’s Trust and was matched with a business mentor to provide ongoing support and advice.
“My business mentor was amazing,” said Lenique. “He had a lot of experience in business and was always there whenever I needed support. He made me feel much more confident and inspired me to keep going when times were tough.”
Today, Lenique’s jewellery business is a huge success. She specialises in making bespoke, handmade statement rings and has her own premises at Cockpit Arts creative business incubator in Holborn, central London. This progression for Lenique has been made possible through the partnership between Cockpit Arts and The Prince’s Trust.
The Prince’s Trust completely changed my life. Setting up my business gave me a new direction, and I feel so much more positive about my future now.
She continued, “I hope that one day I’ll be able to help another young person in the same way that the Trust helped me.”