Luton Airport workers helped into jobs by Prince's Trust get chance to meet King Charles 10 years on

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Ben and James met His Majesty at the Airport

Two men who started work at Luton Airport thanks to the Prince’s Trust were given the chance to meet King Charles – ten years on.

Ben Merritt from Houghton Regis and James Lynam from Sundon Park started work as Cargo and Airside Service Officers thanks to their participation in the ‘Get Into Airports’ partnership scheme between London Luton Airport and the Prince’s Trust.

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And ten years on, the pair received news of a big opportunity to meet His Majesty when he visited the town earlier this month.

King Charles visited Luton on Tuesday, December 6.King Charles visited Luton on Tuesday, December 6.
King Charles visited Luton on Tuesday, December 6.

Ben said: “I was initially told by my line manager that the airport would be receiving a visit from a very high-profile guest and that he had put me forward for the occasion. There was a great deal of secrecy around the visit as you would expect, so it was absolutely incredible to learn that it was The King. It felt like a once in a lifetime experience.

"I was excited filled with joy in anticipation of meeting the King. All in all, it was a great opportunity for such a special occasion and I was proud to be a part of it.”

He added: “I came across The Prince’s Trust when I was looking for work at the job centre. The adviser gave me contact details for the Get into Airports scheme, which The Prince’s Trust ran in partnership with London Luton Airport. I was thrilled to learn that this five-week programme could lead me to a potential career at the end of it.

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"The first two weeks of the course was set in the classroom where I took part in team building activities with the other people on the course. We then got the chance to do two week’s work experience to get some hands-on experience. At the end of the programme, we all had to deliver a big final presentation to the bosses of the airport, managers from each department, and the Mayor of Luton! I was very nervous, but it was a great experience.”

Both James (left) and Ben (right) had the opportunity to meet King Charles.Both James (left) and Ben (right) had the opportunity to meet King Charles.
Both James (left) and Ben (right) had the opportunity to meet King Charles.

James received his invitation to meet the King by post. He said: “I was over the moon to have been invited to meet the King. I was excited but also very nervous as there are rules to follow. I was just hoping I wouldn’t make a mistake!

“The atmosphere was filled with excitement, and a lot of nervousness. We had Cardinal Newman School performing Christmas carols which was great, and a great throwback for me as I went to the school all those years ago."

James added: “The Prince’s Trust has probably changed quite a bit from when I did it back in 2012! How time flies! The course helped me with my confidence in communicating with different companies and different types of people, which in turn helped with job interviews. It has helped me buy a house and provide for my greatest achievement, my two-year-old boy! I can’t thank The Prince’s Trust enough for for the start that it gave me.”