Katie Walker

Katie moved back to the UK and at aged 23 she managed to open her own hair and beauty business. Unfortunately, a lack of support meant it wasn’t successful and the building was repossessed. Once again, Katie was left with nothing.

Struggling to get back on her feet, Katie suffered another huge blow as she lost the baby she was expecting and, owing to complications, was told that she would be unable to conceive again without IVF treatment. Devastated, Katie turned back to drink and drugs but soon realised this wasn’t the right path and approached us for guidance.

After joining the Enterprise programme, Katie recognised her past business mistakes and, armed with a new robust plan and advice, she was ready to start again.

Sadly, disaster struck when the violent relationship she was in came to a head. Katie’s partner beat her so savagely that he broke every bone in her face. She spent three months in and out of hospital having her face reconstructed and on one occasion when her face collapsed, she had to have emergency surgery. Katie’s partner was sent to prison but the damage had been done and she shut herself off from the world, suffering from depression and refusing to see people.

Katie, 31, says:

I never felt so low, looking in the mirror and not recognising myself was so difficult to deal with.

After receiving counselling, Katie began to revisit her dream of opening a salon. She met the man who was to become her husband and he encouraged her to return to The Trust for support. She re-joined the Enterprise programme in 2013 and successfully opened her hair and beauty salon.

Since then, the business has gone from strength to strength and her confidence grew with it. As well as running a successful business, Katie also helps empower victims of domestic violence by sharing her own experiences and volunteers as a Young Ambassador.

The Prince’s Trust gave me something to live for; they saved my life. I want to remind other young people that you should never give up on your dreams.

Katie was also awarded The Prince’s Trust Young Achiever Award at this year’s Pride of Britain Awards to honour her dedication to supporting and empowering other victims of domestic violence. On the night, Katie was presented her award by Trust Ambassador Rod Stewart who surprised her on stage by announcing that he will be donating £10,000 to her business. The night was a great success and Katie is now determined to expand her business to train women suffering from abuse in hair and beauty techniques and is also wants to train her staff in counselling to add extra support to those in need.