Payback time

Thanks to the help and support offered by The Prince's Trust, Denise Hutton-Gosney was able to get her business off the ground. And now the time has arrived for her to assist others to do the same thing.

Payback time

Denise Hutton-Gosney knows all about the great work done by The Prince’s Trust. When she was setting up Razzamataz Theatre Schools over 20 years ago, and had very little business experience, she was advised to approach the charity which assigned her a mentor.

Denise was encouraged to attend many of their events. These included ‘The Prince’s Trust Cumbrian Young Entrepreneur of the Year’, which she ended up winning. The Prince’s Trust helped her to set up Razzamataz and she will be forever grateful for the business training and support she was offered by the charity which is now in its 48th year.

And it’s now payback time for Denise who was recently unveiled as an Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust. In this new role, which Denise says will be both “challenging and rewarding,” she will attend a number of events where she will meet and talk to “young entrepreneurs and share my own experiences with them.”

The purpose of the charity, which was created by the-then Prince of Wales, who is now King Charles, is to assist young people aged between 11 and 30 to move into work, education or training. Courses provided by The Trust help those who attend to develop confidence and skills, as well as preparing them for work, while offering advice on accessing job opportunities.

Since being founded in 1976, it has helped more than one million young people across the UK. During the last 10 years alone, the charity’s work has returned £1.4 billion in value to society. Denise was only 27 when she contacted The Prince’s Trust, in need of assistance to develop her idea for Razzamataz Theatre Schools.

She said: “As a former professional dancer and choreographer, I didn’t have any business experience or training but I had a big dream. I had a lot to learn to make it a reality. At Razzamataz, we now offer other people – with no business experience – all the support, training and mentorship that they need to be successful business owners. I remain ever thankful for the help I was given by The Prince’s Trust.

“As a young business woman, The Trust gave me the skills and, more importantly, the confidence needed to face the challenges of launching a business. I’m extremely proud to be an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust. It’s now time for me to help others to do what I did, a couple of decades ago.”

Razzamataz Theatre Schools was established in 2000. The franchise offers youngsters training and tuition in dance, drama and singing, along with opportunities to perform in front of audiences. Razzamataz, which encourages youngsters to participate in the arts, also helps to develop life skills and build confidence.

The brand enjoyed significant exposure when Denise appeared on the BBC’s flagship programme Dragons’ Den and she successfully secured new investment from Duncan Bannatyne.

Regarding her new role with The Prince’s Trust, Denise added: “As a business owner, I know how important it is to have someone that believes in you and can offer support when you need it. The work that The Trust does, in encouraging young entrepreneurs, is very special.

“I’m excited to be going on this journey with The Prince’s Trust, where I can help support young entrepreneurs by sharing my own experiences with them. It will be both challenging and rewarding.” Among the new events that Denise and her head office team will be announcing, is the initiative ‘Women supporting Women’.

Andy Swales
Andy Swales