The Prince’s Trust annual clay pigeon shoot raised £45,000 to support disadvantaged young people across the south west.
The fundraising event, held on 24 April, hosted 120 sporting gun enthusiasts, who shot against the majestic backdrop of Eastnor Castle, in Ledbury. Guests shot five simulated game drives, each replicating different species of game birds, and organised by the Royal Berkshire Shooting School.
Those taking part were chauffeured between the drives in top-of-the-range Land Rovers provided by sponsors Land Rover Experience. Shooters also had the opportunity to take to the wheel on Land Rover’s Eastnor Castle testing ground, which boasts 53 miles of multi-terrain tracks across 5,000 acres.
This year’s event proved the closest competition yet, with just one clay separating the winners and runners up. Team Barn Door eventually clinched top spot, and each of its shooters took home a pair of Balmoral boots as their prize, which were kindly donated by Hunter. Finishing in second place was Team Grundon, who each won Croots Cartridge bags for their efforts, courtesy of Longthorne Guns.
At the auction run alongside the clay shoot, two tickets to the rugby World Cup semi-final at Twickenham raised a staggering £2,600, finishing off what was a hugely successful fundraising event.
Another highlight of the event was a speech given by Prince’s Trust Young Ambassador, Kia Anderson, who turned her life around with support from the youth charity. The Prince’s Trust helps disadvantaged young people get their lives on track. Three in four young people helped by the charity move into work, education or training.
“Growing up I went through some horrible things and as I got older things just seemed to be getting worse,” said Kia.
“I managed to get housing in hostels and was introduced to The Prince’s Trust. I went to an interview and staff persuaded me to enrol on the charity’s Team programme. It was such an amazing experience. I loved it. I learned that I could actually achieve anything I put my mind to and ended up getting a job with a security company as a result of the course.”
Currently around 60,000 young people in the South West are unemployed. In the past three years the annual Clay Shoot at Eastnor Castle has raised nearly £118,500, which has been used by The Prince’s Trust to help young people in the south west gain the skills and confidence they need to get into work, training or education.
Jonathan Baltesz, chairman of the event, said: “We’re delighted with how much this event raised, which will go directly towards helping disadvantaged young people in the south west change their lives and find a job. This event has been very successful in recent years, thanks to the fantastic support of our sponsors and guests. We look forward to seeing what next year will bring!”