A TEENAGER from Bradford who was born deaf has been honoured for his work overcoming adversity and fundraising for the Prince’s Trust.

Dominic Loftus received the Yorkshire and the Humber KCOM Young Ambassador Award at the Prince’s Trust Awards, held in Leeds on Wednesday.

The awards aim to recognise the achievements of disadvantaged young people who have succeeded against the odds and had a positive impact on their own lives and the local community.

Dominic, 18, was born clinically deaf but had his hearing restored by a life-changing operation when he was five years old.

However, despite getting one of his senses back, Dominic, said his new hearing was also “pretty isolating”.

He said: “It opened up a whole new world, but by that age I was way behind everyone else in terms of my speech development and stuck out like a sore thumb.”

He struggled to fit in at high school, and along with personal problems, including family problems, this significantly impacted his mental health.

“I experienced my darkest moments between the ages of 13 and 16 and tried to commit suicide on several occasions.

“When I didn’t get the GCSE results I wanted, I felt like I’d let everyone down. I attempted suicide again and ended up in hospital where I got told I was too fragile to take my A-levels.

“People were giving up on me.”

After being discharged from hospital, Dominic joined Team, a 12-week programme run by youth charity the Prince’s Trust, which aims to build the confidence and skills of unemployed young people.

Dominic added: “It was exciting; I was like a fish in new water and loved everything about it.

“Team made me see life differently. I made friends and found the strength to take back control of my life.

“That’s why I became a Young Ambassador – to say ‘thank you’.

“Sometimes I can’t believe it was me standing up on stage telling people about my life, but it was, and it feels incredible.

“It feels really special to have won the Young Ambassador award.

“All the winners have achieved amazing things, and it’s great to be able to share that with them.”

Through speaking at fundraising events, Dominic has helped to raise more than £200,000 for the Prince’s Trust.

He is now studying for his A-levels at Immanuel College and plans to go to university, turning down a number of job offers that were sent his way on the back of his success and progress.

Dominic was presented with his award at the ceremony by Kay Stevenson, head of communications at Hull-based broadband provider KCOM, which sponsored the award.

Cathy Phillips, chief marketing officer at KCOM, described Dominic as an “inspiration”.


She said: “Dom knows that his role as a Young Ambassador is vital in helping others learn about the support available.

“He is prepared to step out of his comfort zone to do this and that makes him an inspiration and a truly deserving winner of this award.

“We wish him all the best for the future, both in his role with the Prince’s Trust and his career.”