Craig’s determination wins him a Royal welcome at Buckingham Palace

Himmat Project learner Craig Ellis is presented with his award by City and Guilds director general Chris Jones, chairman Michael Howell and master of the Tin Plate Workers Company Ian Chamberlain.
Himmat Project learner Craig Ellis is presented with his award by City and Guilds director general Chris Jones, chairman Michael Howell and master of the Tin Plate Workers Company Ian Chamberlain.

A DETERMINED young mechanic was given the Royal treatment after winning an award for his vocational achievements with The Himmat Project.

Craig Ellis was invited to Buckingham Palace and met Princess Anne after he was nominated by leaders of the Halifax-based alternative education programme.

The 21-year-old, of Mixenden, Halifax, said: “This is the first time anything so special has happened to me, I am so proud and so is my family.

“When I told my uncle about this his eyes filled with tears he was so proud of me.

“It is the first time I have been to London too, the whole thing has been very exciting, I’ll remember this for the rest of my life.

“The Himmat Project has given me a new lease of life. I have more confidence and feel that I can go as far as I would like to in the world.”

Craig was nominated for achieving a City and Guilds entry level three award in motor vehicle repair at the Himmat Centre despite having a learning difficulty.

He since left The Himmat Project but continues to attend as a volunteer helping other young people who are going through a difficult time.

Gary Flowitt, manager, said: “Craig fully deserves this award. He has worked long and hard to achieve his certificate and demonstrated continued commitment to learning.

“We work with many young people who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to access mainstream education and Craig is just one of many to achieve higher than expectations.

“Craig reflects the hard work that our tutoring staff at Himmat commits themselves to daily and they have a right to be proud of this achievement also.”

The Princess Royal was hosting the awards for the first time since taking over from her father, the Duke of Edinburgh, as president of the City and Guilds of London Institute last June.

After the ceremony, Craig attended a celebratory lunch and was presented with his award by Michael Howell, chairman of City and Guilds and the Master Tin Plate Worker.

City & Guilds director general Chris Jones said: “To be awarded a prize by one of our Founder Members and to receive that award from Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal is a real honour and a sign of exceptional achievement. “Craig should be incredibly proud of his success, and I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.”