Ryan, a Make Your Mark beneficiary, has become an inspirational male role model and mentor to young people in Northern Ireland. Recently Ryan won the NI Young Ambassador of the Year Award. He was also one of four UK Finalists in the inaugural Prince’s Trust Mentor of the Year with campaign videos aired on Good Morning Britain’s Campaign.
Ryan has used his inspirational story of how he defied the odds after losing his father aged 14, suffered from depression, contemplating suicide. He left formal education aged 17 to run his family’s business which was forced to close and then set up his own business but was unsuccessful for various reasons. He became unemployed and gained a place on the Make Your Mark Programme after connecting with The Prince’s Trust.
Ryan completed the 4 week programme successfully, gaining employment with M&S and has now progressed to become a section manager.
As a Young Ambassador, Ryan has shared his story across social media, local papers and national papers such as the Belfast Telegraph & Huffington Post. He has also appeared on BBC Radio Foyle talking about his battle with depression. Ryan is also a public speaker for the Trust sharing his story to audiences of 500+ people for companies like Accenture in London and Club 41’s National AGM securing vital funds and exposure for the charity.
As a mentor Ryan helps young people develop confidence and employability skills helping them find secure employment and ultimately get their life back. Now a permanent section manager, Ryan also takes a keen interest in supporting the young people through Make Your Mark in his store, sharing his story and helping them on a day to day basis.