Northumberland cattle breeder helps popstar Cheryl launch £2m youth centre bid

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini meets young people from the Prince's Trust, including cattle breeder Julia Cherrie, from Ingram (second from the right).
Cheryl Fernandez-Versini meets young people from the Prince's Trust, including cattle breeder Julia Cherrie, from Ingram (second from the right).

A cattle breeder from Ingram, Northumberland, has helped North East pop star Cheryl Fernandez-Versini launch a campaign to build a centre for vulnerable youngsters.

Julia Cherrie met the Girls Aloud star yesterday when she came to the region to start her crusade to raise £2million to help youth charity The Prince’s Trust build the facility in the heart of Newcastle.

The state-of-the-art centre will support thousands of disadvantaged young people from across the whole region and help them to transform their lives.

Julia discussed her own experiences of working with The Prince’s Trust with Cheryl, along with other young people helped by the Trust. She knows only too well what a massive difference the support of The Prince’s Trust can make.

Having become very ill in her final year at school and after a year-long recovery, Julia left school with very few qualifications and decided to set up her own business as a cattle breeder. She received a Prince’s Trust Development Award to buy livestock and now runs her own Highland cattle breeding farm.

Julia said: “The new centre will be amazing for the region’s young people. The collaboration between Cheryl’s Trust and The Prince’s Trust is sure to help young people overcome unemployment, homelessness and other issues they may be facing.”

Cheryl has committed to raise £2million to help The Prince’s Trust get the centre up and running, through her own charitable foundation, Cheryl’s Trust. The pop star is planning a host of exciting fund-raising activities across the region over the coming months.

The centre, which will allow the youth charity to support almost 4,000 young people in the North East each year, will help the region’s most at-risk young people, including those facing drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, mental-health problems and those leaving care, to turn their lives around.

Cheryl said: “I’m proud of where I grew up but I’m only too aware of the challenges that young people faced. Opportunities often seem pretty limited and I saw so many friends who had loads of potential fall into a life of alcohol, drugs and crime. Sadly, many got in too deep, and never found their way back to a happy life.

“It’s really scary to see that this is still happening in so many communities across the UK. Too many young people are wasting their lives away because they feel they have no-one to turn to.

“My life could have turned out very differently if I didn’t have the support of my family who believed in me and told me I could achieve anything. A little bit of self-belief can go a long way. I know how lucky I am.

“The young people The Prince’s Trust works with, day in day out, are those who are unemployed, have no qualifications and sometimes even suffer with mental-health issues and drug and alcohol addiction. They are often already resigned to the belief they will fail in life.

“That’s why I am raising money to open the new centre. I want to give back and help young people who feel like they’ll never achieve anything reach their dreams and live a happy life.”

The new centre will enable The Prince’s Trust to provide enhanced support to vulnerable young people on a range of its programmes. The partnership will also see the opening of a new music studio and a state-of-the-art digital media hub within the centre, where young people will be able to gain confidence and skills in music and media. Three in four young people supported by The Prince’s Trust move into work, education or training.

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