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HSBC UK Breakthrough Award

Our Breakthrough Award recognises the progress of young people who have developed new skills to enable them to make positive steps towards facing their challenges and stabilisting their lives.

The HSBC UK Breakthrough winner is Charlotte Wookey.

Charlotte loves caring for animals and has now secured a paid position at a local doggy daycare in Wales, while also voluntary with a neighbouring animal rescue.

Prior to securing both positions, Charlotte couldn’t see a future for herself, her confidence was low and she isolated herself due to anxiety and depression. With support from the local authority and participation in the Prince’s Trust Explore programme - a personal development programme, Charlotte’s believes her life is now back on track.

Charlotte said: "From a young age my life was unstable. We moved around a lot due to domestic abuse, which meant I had to keep changing schools too. It was hard to make friends. When I was twelve I was placed in foster care with my brother – however we were later placed in separate homes.

I later moved into shared accommodation at 16. I was feeling low and felt like my life was out of control. I started to take drugs, which resulted in me losing my accommodation – I was homeless. I ended up sofa surfing and even spent a few nights in a shipping container.

With help from social services I managed to secure my own place and get support for my drug addiction. I was also diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression. I didn’t want to leave my house – my dogs were my only comfort and all I cared about.

When I was referred onto The Prince’s Trust Explore programme, it gave me the boost I needed. With support from staff, I started to travel on public transport three times a week to attend each session.

The programme helped me to conquer my fears, meet people and build my confidence massively.
I achieved my Level 2 certificate in Food Safety and a certificate from the John Muir Trust for my contribution towards conservation. I was so proud of myself!

My dad also came back into my life, so I have his support too, which is great. I’ve stopped feeling like an ex-junkie with no future and instead am excited about my future – I now feel like I do deserve to have a nice life and that I have the strength to make it my reality.

Winning The Prince’s Trust Award was such a surprise, I still can’t believe it! It’s a really great way to start 2022!”

About the sponsor

We would like to say a huge thank you to HSBC UK, for sponsoring the Breakthrough Award.  

HSBC UK’s support of The Prince's Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards for the past seven years has made a real difference to the lives of thousands of young people across the UK, inspiring and motivating young people to achieve their best in life. 

Find out more about HSBC UK here.  

About our media partner

Daily Mirror logo
The Mirror is our media partner for the HSBC UK Breakthrough Award, helping us to share Charlotte's story. Find out more here.