NORTH AYRSHIRE youths picked up prestigious awards at the Prince’s Trust Awards last week for success against the odds.

Reiss Conlon from Saltcoats and Dr Danielle Farrel, from Irvine won the Stagecoach Young Ambassador and Royal Bank of Scotland Enterprise Awards, respectively at the ceremony at the Assembly Roxy in Edinburgh.

Danielle and Reiss were both recognised for their hard work to bounce back from set backs and improve their chances in life as well as the positive impact on their local communities.

Danielle helps those living with disability, after vowing cerebral palsy would never stop her from achieving her dreams after she struggled to get a job after graduating with a PHD.

Despite her own disability, her parents fought hard for her to go to a mainstream school.

As a teenager she bounced back from tragedy. When she was just 16 her mum became died after a two year battle with emphysema which had a huge impact on family life as she was Danielle’s main carer.

A determined Danielle focused on her studies to pass the exams her mother fought for her to sit.

After gaining her PhD, Danielle set up Your Options Understood (Y.O.U) which provides self-directed support and advocacy services for people with physical or mental disabilities and their parents and carers.

She offers training for workers in agencies so they can benefit from knowledge and experience to help break down barriers and find solutions to challenges throughout society.

She said: “When I first decided to set up, I didn’t realise what was involved in establishing a community interest company, but after taking part in the Explore Enterprise course I soon realised the magnitude of the challenge.This didn’t deter me as I wanted to support individuals with disabilities to overcome the challenges they face and achieve their aspirations.

Speaking at the awards Danielle said: “I’ve never allowed my disability to hold me back and I’ve always dreamed big but there have been days when I wasn’t sure what my future would be like. To win the Prince’s Trust Enterprise award proves that all the hard work was worth it and the future is bright.”