Laura, 26, from Burnley, Lancashire, was 12 when she began suffering from emotional and sexual abuse.
The emotional and sexual abuse carried on for years and by the age of 14, she was suffering with anxiety and depression, and began self-harming. Feeling she had no-one to turn to, Laura’s life became a web of secrets.
Hoping for a fresh start, Laura moved to college to study musical theatre but at 16 her life changed forever when she was raped by a stranger. Laura subsequently became very ill with anorexia and her health deteriorated rapidly.
When Laura’s heart started to fail, she was given a week to live. Somehow, she survived.
During her recovery, she heard about Team - a Prince’s Trust programme that builds the confidence and employability prospects of unemployed young people – Laura decided to give it a go.
It took guts for her to take part, but she thrived in the environment and went on to complete three more subsequent Prince’s Trust programmes. She went on a Prince’s Trust programme, which gives disadvantaged young people the skills and confidence to change their lives for the better, and two more confidence building programmes called Get Started.
Sharing her story in a way that never failed to move her audience, Laura has been courageous in telling her story and has helped to secure £2.2 million in donations for The Trust.
Laura now works for a mental health training charity and has also developed a training programme for professionals around eating disorders. She is also studying health and social care at college.
Read about the other National Celebrate Success Award finalists.