A 27-YEAR-OLD from Urmston will receive a special award from the Prince's Trust this week.

Anthony Hilton, from Urmston, landed his dream job as a firefighter after turning his life around with a 12-week Prince's Trust programme.

He took charge of his life after joining Team, a 12-week programme ran by the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, on behalf of the Prince's Trust.

He will scoop the Chess Rising Star award at a ceremony at Chetham's School of Music in Manchester on Wednesday in recognition of achievements.

He said: "I enjoyed my job and had worked at the same place for five years when I saw my boss consistently bully another member of staff.

"I challenged it and reported it, and because of this he made me feel secluded.

"I stopped looking forward to going to work and no longer enjoyed my job so I made the decision to leave."

He moved onto a number of unfulfilling temporary roles to make ends meet, before joining The Prince's Trust, where he gained the skills and confidence needed to take his life forward.

He said: “One day I got talking to a guy at Stretford Fire Station and he told me about a programme called Team.

"It took some convincing, but eventually I agreed to give it a try as it was important to me that I got out there and started meeting new people.”

Messenger Newspapers:

Anthony earned himself a dream job with the Fire and Rescue Service.

With the help of Team, delivered in partnership with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and The Manchester College, Anthony managed to beat thousands of applicants to his dream job with his local fire service.

He said: "I was nervous about Team and I was the oldest one there but everyone looked to me as someone they could talk to and that gave me confidence.

"I’d always wanted to work for the fire service and arranged to do a work placement within its community safety team.

"It was such a fulfilling experience, so afterwards I started volunteering for the brigade.

“Then, for the first time in seven years, my local fire service started recruiting. Thousands applied and with a lot of hard work and perseverance I got the job!

"Team gave me a massive opportunity. Six months earlier I was in a completely different place, but now I am more confident than I’ve ever been and doing the best job in the world.

"I thank The Prince’s Trust and Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service for giving me the opportunity to make such a positive change to my life.”

The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards recognise the achievements of young people who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life, and had a positive impact on their local community, as well as those who have played a part in supporting the work of The Trust.