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.

I dropped out of studying teaching and for the next two years I was in and out of eating disorder clinics and acute psychiatric wards. I tried to take my own life and was sectioned twice – once for six months.

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.  

I used to have no purpose in life, no real meaning to my everyday existence. The Prince’s Trust programmes gave me a reason to get up every day and boosted my confidence and self-esteem. It changed my life and I wanted to give back to The Trust, so asked if I could become a Young Ambassador.

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.