Rebecca Beattie, is a former victim of domestic violence who set up Always B U, an ethical clothing brand dedicated to raising awareness of domestic violence.

Rebecca was with her ex-partner for five years who abused her physically, emotionally and economically. She left the relationship at the age of 24, and a couple of weeks later her ex-partner and father to her child attacked her so badly that she needed facial reconstructive surgery. He later served time in jail for these offences.

Rebecca joined our Enterprise programme in 2018, which helps young people to turn big ideas into business reality, for support setting up her company.

I nearly talked myself out of going the first day but I pushed through my anxiety and going on Enterprise is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It helped me to focus my skills and I was given the guidance of a one-to-one mentor.

For every product sold at Always B U, 5% of each sale is donated to IDAS, a Yorkshire-based charity supporting anyone experiencing or affected by domestic violence and sexual violence. Rebecca aims to increase the amount donated per sale as her business becomes more established. The brand is designed to empower victims and survivors of violence and give them a voice, as well as changing attitudes about domestic violence. 

I wanted to give back to The Trust for what they’d given me, so I decided to become a Young Ambassador. I tell my story at events in the hope that sharing my experiences will encourage others to get behind the charity’s amazing work supporting young people like me. And to show other young people that, no matter where they are now, there is hope.  

"Most of my life I’ve been told not to be myself and that who I am isn’t good enough. The Prince’s Trust has changed all that. I now have confidence in myself, who I am, and what I can achieve." 

Rebecca has faced the pandemic with her characteristic resilience and positivity.

"Obviously the pandemic has slowed down activity with my brand. I relied quite heavily on public speaking, going into colleges to network, and photoshoots, so that’s where I’m feeling the impact the most. I’m quite resourceful so I try to stay positive and upbeat, and I’m adapting the brand to develop more of an online presence."

Rebecca has continued with her domestic violence advocacy work during lockdown, a period which has seen domestic violence rise.

I work with a lot of domestic violence charities, doing media work for them, and I’ve been helping with the development of virtual resources for domestic violence victims. I will always continue to prioritise this work because that’s what my brand is about.

"I’ve also been using my social media to raise awareness and recently went on a podcast to talk about my experiences with domestic violence and also my journey with my brand and The Prince’s Trust."

The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards, in partnership with TSB, will be broadcast on ITV on 1st November at 9pm.

Find out more about the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards 2020: www.prideofbritain.com