A young man who suffered depression after spending his childhood in foster care, children’s homes and secure units has won the RBS Enterprise award at The Prince’s Trust & Samsung Celebrate Success Awards ceremony.
Peter Higgs, from Ewhurst in Surrey, south-east England, overcame mental health issues by the age of 18 and gaps in his education through help from The Prince’s Trust.
A troubled childhood, which encouraged bouts of anxiety and stress, badly affected Peter’s education, leaving him with basic communication and numeracy skills.
Peter found work with local gamekeepers and discovered a passion for wildlife management. This led to the idea of starting his own pest control company, but his limited education and lack of solid work experience within the industry left him feeling that starting a new business would be too much of an undertaking.
Facing financial insecurity, depression and rural isolation, Peter enrolled on The Prince’s Enterprise programme for young people interested in realising their business potential.
Peter said: “I learnt a lot on the course, from marketing to accounting, and it was great to see other young people in the same situation with similar aspirations.”
The Prince’s Trust provided Peter with far-reaching business knowledge and the support he needed in the subsequent formation of his company, PGH Pest Control and Prevention. He also received help in setting up his company’s website (pghpestcontrol.co.uk).
Since formation, the business has exceeded all its financial targets, and Peter is now researching diversification into other areas as requested by his clients.
The RBS Enterprise Award is part of The Prince’s Trust & Samsung Celebrate Success Awards. Which recognise young people who have overcome issues such as abuse, drug addiction, homelessness and depression. The banking group’s sponsorship of the award is part of RBS Inspiring Youth Enterprise.
The ceremony was attended by HRH The Prince of Wales, who founded The Prince’s Trust in 1976 to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people in the UK. The Trust has become the UK’s leading youth charity, offering a range of opportunities including training, personal development, business start-up support, mentoring and advice.
Since his involvement with The Trust, Peter’s communication, numeracy and literacy skills have improved, and he now feels his ongoing business ambitions are achievable.
“I felt lost, without any effective support and help. But the Prince’s Trust helped me make it all happen,” he said.
Peter now employs a full-time team of 14+ and services both businesses and homes across the country.
In 2020 Peter franchised his business as PGH Beegone and opportunities are available around the country.