THE BLOG

My Mission for Britain's Young People

11/03/2016 12:45 GMT | Updated 11/03/2017 10:12 GMT

I have been in space for nearly three months now - and what a journey it has been so far. Every day when I look out of the 'Cupola', I see Planet Earth passing beneath me, in all its fragile beauty. I can't get enough of it, as you can probably tell from the many pictures that I enjoy sharing on social media.

I will never forget the journey which brought me to the International Space Station - the raw power and acceleration of a rocket launch, my first time onboard the ISS, my first meal in space (bacon sarnie and a cup of tea!) and of course my first spacewalk. I am collecting unique memories which I will probably bore my wife, children and possibly grandchildren with for the rest of my life!

Becoming an astronaut was my dream. I worked hard to get where I am today; but I am acutely aware that I was given many opportunities in life to succeed. I had loving parents who gave me values and direction, a good education and inspirational role models to provide guidance and encouragement.

For many young people in the UK, this is unfortunately not the case today. Unemployment, poverty, homelessness, addictions, abuse and mental health problems are issues which are real and prevent our children from fulfilling their potential. We simply cannot choose to ignore these issues, nor let them rob our children of their future.

One of the many privileges I enjoy whilst in space is that people across the UK and beyond are keenly following my mission. I have been slightly overwhelmed by the level of interest and enthusiasm. This has given me a great sense of responsibility and a unique opportunity to stand up for what I believe. I care deeply about Britain's young people, especially those often labelled as the "hardest to reach". That is why from space I have been involved in all kinds of educational projects to get children excited about science. That is why also, before embarking on my mission to the International Space Station, I decided to become an Ambassador for The Prince's Trust.

For over 40 years now, the youth charity has been helping disadvantaged young people turn their lives around. A staggering 825,000 people have been through a Prince's Trust programme, with three out of four of them moving into education, training or employment.

On Monday at the London Palladium, The Prince's Trust held its annual Celebrate Success Awards. HRH The Prince of Wales, its founder and President, joined over 2000 people and a host of celebrities to recognise the achievements of exceptionally inspiring young people who have been helped by The Trust. I sent a video message from space to offer my congratulations to all of them.

Sarah, Callum and Connor, who were nominated for the Educational Achiever of the Year Award, have blogged for The Huffington Post about the journey they have been on since they got in touch with The Prince's Trust. My hope is that their stories will be an inspiration for many more young people who are in similar situations.

They remind us that with a little help and a lot of hard work, you can go on to achieve great things. From space, this is the message that I want to send to our Nation's young people.

People like me, like the many people who work for and in partnership with The Prince's Trust are rooting for you. Dare to take that first step, take support and advice when you need it and you will be amazed at what you can achieve!

The Prince's Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success Awards were held on Monday at the London Palladium. The Huffington Post supported the Novae Educational Achiever of the Year Award.