Page last updated at 10:22 GMT, Monday, 29 November 2010
Locksmith Simon finds the key to success
Simon Curley
A tough childhood meant Simon struggled at school and left with few qualifications

A man from Cardiff is celebrating winning the Prince's Trust Cymru Young Enterprise Award for setting up a business after a tough start in life.

Simon Curley had a chaotic upbringing as the son of heroin addicts and left school with few qualifications, unable to think positively about his future.

But with support from the Prince's Trust the 28 year old has set up a successful locksmith business.

Simon picked up his award at the Celebrate Success ceremony in Cardiff.

Simon's parents both struggled with heroin addiction and he was exposed in particular to his mother's drug and alcohol problems at a very early age.

His mother left when he was four and Simon, his brother and his sister went to live with their grandparents.

When Simon was seven his father decided to try and conquer his drug problems once and for all for the sake of his family.

After a long struggle he succeeded but then died after suffering serious head injuries in a skiing accident.

I've never really thought of myself as disadvantaged - I just got on with the situation I've been given
Simon Curley

Despite the love and support Simon received from his grandparents he struggled at school.

He was diagnosed with dyslexia and left school with few qualifications.

"I had no goals or direction", said Simon.

"The one thing I did know though was that I better suited to hands-on physical work."

After leaving school Simon struggled to find his niche.

He did a number of different jobs including working in a garage, a jewellers and serving food in a hospital.

Simon first became interested in pursuing a career as a locksmith whilst working for the charity Homesafe.

After a period working for a private locksmith company he was introduced to the idea of setting up his own business through the Prince's Trust Enterprise programme in Cardiff.

He attended a week long course run by the Trust and admits that at first he felt daunted - "I was definitely out of my comfort zone at first."

Simon picks up his award at a ceremony in Cardiff's Coal Exchange
Simon picked up his award at the Prince's Trust Celebrate Success ceremony in Cardiff

However, with financial assistance in the form of a grant from the Prince's Trust Enterprise programme plus regular support from a business mentor provided by the Trust, Simon set up his own mobile locksmith business.

He's been in business for just over a year and is enjoying being his own boss.

Simon is learning to live with his dyslexia and manages all aspects of his business.

"I like the fact that I'm making the decisions - it gives me confidence to see the business growing."

Simon admits that he was 'gobsmacked' to win the Principality Building Society Enterprise Award at the Prince's Trust Celebrate Success awards.

"I've never really thought of myself as disadvantaged. I just got on with the situation I've been given."

Simon took his grandparents Idris and Eirwen to the awards ceremony which took place at the Coal Exchange in Cardiff.

He says they were so proud to see him receive his award.

"I owe everything to them. If it wasn't for my grandparents I would've gone into care."

Today Simon feels positive about his future.

"I hope to keep people happy and build up my business.

"Before I worked with the Prince's Trust I didn't have much faith in myself as a person.

"They've helped to build my confidence and if it wasn't for them I definitely wouldn't be where I am today."




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