Dame Kelly Holmes Trust Lifeline


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Dame Kelly Holmes Trust

Dame Kelly Holmes makes an appeal on behalf of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, which helps disadvantaged young people by pairing them with inspiring athletes.


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Kelly Holmes, striding out. A huge roar from this crowd!

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I'm so proud of my athletic achievements.

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Kelly comes home to take the gold once more for England!

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When I think back to those moments as a winner, I'm filled with happiness.

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But the medals don't tell my whole story.

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Like others, my childhood wasn't easy.

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I spent time at a care home, lived on a council estate,

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and I really struggled at school.

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In fact, most of the time, I didn't think I was good at anything.

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Everything changed when a PE teacher spotted some potential in me

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and encouraged me to focus, work hard and believe in myself.

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She gave me the push I needed, and I have a lot to thank her for.

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I know that sometimes it just takes one individual to change

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the course of a young person's life.

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And that's why I founded the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, because too many

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young people don't have that special someone to help them

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reach their true potential.

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23-year-old Martine had a hard start in life.

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I put myself into care when I was 14 and I had to move around quite

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a lot while I was in the care system.

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I was suffering from depression.

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At times I'd get really low, but then I'd have a little drink

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with my friends and have a laugh, and it was all right again.

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But escaping from her difficulties through the bottle only landed

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Martine in more trouble.

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When I was getting drunk, drunk and disorderly, I was getting arrested

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because as soon as a police officer spoke to me I'd have an argument.

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Some of the stuff I done, I was taken to court and prosecuted,

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so it left me with a criminal record.

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I didn't care about anything or anyone.

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At 16, Martine became a mother.

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She was on her own and now she was responsible for her son, too.

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I had to live in hostels,

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and not really knowing what I was doing from one day to the next

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was difficult, because it wasn't just me, it was my child, as well.

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I thought I was growing up, but kept getting into trouble.

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Back to drinking, back to doing the same silly things.

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I kind of realised that if I didn't fix the issues I had,

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around my anger and the way I was being,

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that I could possibly lose my son - they could have taken him.

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But I just couldn't see a way out of it.

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Curtis May also had a difficult time as a kid.

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Me and my family, we used to get abused by my mum's ex-partner.

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He was violent, abusive, and every day it was just torture.

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As he got into his teens, Curtis experienced bullying at school, too.

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I got bullied every day.

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I turned up to school, I didn't want to go into school.

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I never really had any friends.

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I was really cutting myself off from the world.

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I'd just stay in my room, go on my game console,

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and just block everything out.

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But of course, avoiding school didn't make Curtis's problems go away.

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I was thinking every day, I don't have a future.

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The dreams that I had, the thoughts in my head was just saying, "No,

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"you can't do it, you're not strong enough to do it," and I believed it.

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Because I didn't have the confidence.

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I went to the doctor's and he said it was actually severe depression.

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And when I was told that, it hit me with a...

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like a bomb had hit me, really.

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If you're young and you feel like your life is going nowhere,

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it's so easy to feel a sense of total defeat.

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Although I won two gold medals, the journey to the top was so hard.

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I suffered from numerous injuries and also depression.

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Throughout my career, I've had to learn resilience, confidence

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and focus, and these are precisely the attitudes that

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so many young people could learn, too.

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To do this, the charity has developed a range of courses that pair up

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world-class athletes with young people,

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to help them get their lives back on track.

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During months of mentoring, a young person can gain so much confidence

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and insight from elite sports people who have spent their lives

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overcoming setbacks.

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After 18 months out of work,

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Martine was offered a place on the Trust's Get On Track programme.

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To start with, she wasn't sure it was for her.

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The first day was... It was scary.

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I didn't want to speak to anyone, kept my head down.

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Former Olympic triple jumper Michelle Robinson was Martine's new mentor.

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A lot of them haven't had a role model,

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they haven't had the great parenting.

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Martine knew she had to change.

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She knew she had an ability.

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We also know from the outside watching,

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this is a smart little cookie here.

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And that's what the Get On Track programme is about, it's about

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unlocking the potential of a young person

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and allowing them to flourish.

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As the course went on, Martine's belief in herself began to grow.

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'I knew if I needed to speak to Michelle she'd take her time

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'and speak to me, and work a way through things with me,

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'even if I thought it was the end of something, she'd tell me how

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'to get round it or get over it,'

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and give me other directions to go in.

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Soon Michelle decided it was time for Martine to take on some

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responsibility,

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organising a Christmas party for a group of local pensioners.

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'I kind of shied away from leading,

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'because I'd rather just get told what to do,'

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but Michelle told me that I was leader and that I was going to lead.

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'I took my team away and give them a little bit of a prep talk.

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'I realised that I have got the leadership skills that

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'Michelle's been telling me that I have.'

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Martine absolutely delivered on that day and that's when she started

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to believe, actually, after all these years of people telling me

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I couldn't do things, actually I can.

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By the end of the course, I was beaming with confidence,

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I felt I finally knew who I was,

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and I knew where I wanted to go

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and I didn't want to be in trouble any more.

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Curtis also took part in a Get On Track programme.

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I know that times are cold, but trust me, they'll get warmer

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Because there's a brighter future round the corner...

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After a year of mentoring, he's back at college studying music technology.

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I try to ride around so I can try to find some healing...

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'I've come a long way from that shy boy

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'who was in his room all the time.

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'I'm really into my music and every day I'm going up'

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and towards everything that I've always wanted to achieve.

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And it feels amazing, it feels like a blessing, really.

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To succeed at anything, you've got to have the right attitude,

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and we believe successful sports men and women are just

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the people to deliver that.

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I was looking up to them

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because they've accomplished something so great for the

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country, like win a gold medal, and I had a dream that I wanted to do.

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If it wasn't for the Trust I don't think I'd be able to go

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out on stage and perform my heart out.

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At the Trust, we know we've succeeded if our young people leave us

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with the motivation,

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confidence and skills that they need to find work and get on in life.

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Martine now supports her son by working for a rail company.

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I love my job and I love the responsibility I've been given.

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The Trust are just amazing.

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Without someone giving me

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that opportunity I could have never got to where I am now.

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Our inspirational athletes want to help more young people lead

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positive lives.

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Our Trust has helped over 200,000 people towards a hopeful future.

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With nearly one million young people out of education, employment

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and training, there's clearly thousands more that need our support.

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We rely heavily on donations to carry on, so join me to go that extra mile.

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Please donate whatever you can to help young people

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in your community reach their true potential.

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Calls are free from landlines and mobiles.

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Texts cost £10 plus your standard message charge,

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and the whole £10 goes to the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.

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Full terms and conditions can be found at bbc.co.uk/lifeline.

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If you'd like to post a donation, please make your cheque payable

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to Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and send to Freepost, BBC Lifeline Appeal.

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Write Dame Kelly Holmes Trust on the back of the envelope.

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If you want the charity to claim gift aid on your donation,

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please include an e-mail or postal address

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so that they can send you a gift aid form.

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Thank you.

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Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes makes an appeal on behalf of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. This charity helps disadvantaged young people by pairing them up with inspiring athletes, who mentor them and support them back into education or employment. The Trust has made an impact on over 200,000 young people across the country but wants to help more. Kelly is no stranger to adversity as she grew up on a tough council estate, spent time in care and struggled at school. Now she wants to give all young people a chance, whatever their start in life.

As a young girl, Martine Kydd was often in and out of the care system. She had problems with alcohol and got into trouble with the police. At the age of 17, and with a young son to look after, Martine was unemployed and struggling to cope. She was close to having her little boy removed from her when she heard about the Trust's Get On Track programme. Retired Olympic triple jumper Michelle Robinson mentored Martine through the programme by helping her to manage her emotions and regain her confidence. Now Martine's attitude has changed radically and she has a job with a rail company with flexible hours so she can still take care of her son.