Bridgwater campaigner impresses the Prince of Wales and three party leaders at the Palace

Lorna RosthornLorna Rosthorn

FixersA Bridgwater student who is campaigning for more support for young reoffenders was congratulated by Prince Charles for her hard work at a special event at Buckingham Palace yesterday (THURS).

Lorna Rosthorn, 19, who is working with the charity Fixers, was invited to a prestigious event at the royal residence to mark the launch of a nationwide mission to get more young people involved in social action.

Lorna Rosthorn at Buckingham PalaceLorna Rosthorn on stage at the 'Step Up To Serve' launch at Buckingham Palace. She is sat at the end of the front row right, behind Prince Charles, David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

The Prime Minister David Cameron, and party leaders Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband, also attended the launch of the national ‘Step Up To Serve’ campaign and personally spoke to Lorna.

The UK-wide campaign aims to double the number of young people participating in social action by 2020.

Keen to increase support for young reoffenders, Lorna is working with Fixers – a charity that supports young people aged 16-25 to tackle any issue that matters to them, however they choose.

Along with a host of influential guests, Lorna, who is currently studying in Birmingham, was invited to attend the event to represent the 10,300 young people who have already signed up as ‘Fixers’ and are engaging in social action.

Lorna Rosthorn meets Prince CharlesLorna Rosthorn meets Prince Charles

Describing meeting Prince Charles, Lorna said: “The Prince asked me what Fixers do and he seemed very interested. He said it’s important to encourage more young people to get involved and that we’re all doing a really good job.”

She added: “Ed Miliband was asking me lots of questions about Fixers and David Cameron said ‘well done’ too.”

Speaking at the event, Prince Charles said: “I have been saying for 40 years that we need a campaign to promote youth social action and all the benefits it brings.

“Now finally we are at that moment where we have complete cross-party, cross-sector support to help youth organisations across the country increase opportunities to help young people get more actively involved.

“By working together, I’m sure we can reach our target of 50 per cent involvement by 2020.”

Lorna Rosthorn, 19 worked with Fixers to create a short film, Not Because Our Bones Are Bad, based on the experiences of young offenders to raise awareness of the lack of support available to them once out of prison.

She was inspired to carry out her campaign by her best friend who is currently in prison.

Lorna’s film is free for use on press websites upon request, please click here to watch it.

Fixers has already committed to working with 60,000 more young people aged 16 to 25 by 2020.

“Fixers has changed my life and has really increased my confidence,” said Lorna. “Before I became a Fixer, I was living in a hostel and didn’t know what to do with my future. Now I’m at college and I want to make what I’ve done with Fixers the rest of my life’s work.”

She added: “Social action is important. A lot of people complain about their community and what’s wrong with it but nothing’s going to change if you don’t do it yourself. If you’ve got something to moan about - sort it out yourself. It really helps you to grow and learn new things as an individual, and helps everyone else too.”

Fixers works with young people across the UK. Each Fixer is supported to create the resources they need to make their chosen project a success, with creative help from media professionals to make their own promotional material, such as films, websites or print work.

Fixers has already supported more than 10,300 young people across the UK to have an authentic voice in their community.

Young people have campaigned on issues with Fixers as diverse as cyber-bullying, self-harm, suicide and the need for more random acts of kindness.

Visit www.fixers.org.uk for more information.

Lorna was a regular visitor to the YMCA during the autumn of 2012.

Early in 2013 Lorna was sneaking into the YMCA accommodation and sleeping on friends floors. Lorna was given a chance by YMCA and P2i staff and she was offered a room. Prior to her move in Lorna agreed to engage with a company from Plymouth called Fixers, with a view to starting a project.

During Lorna’s time with us she attended support sessions regularly, kept all appointments with DWP and Fixers and had minimal re nt arrears. She cut down on her cannabis consumption and engaged with staff.

She completed her project with Fixers with fantastic results.