A SOUTHAMPTON woman will have a night of glitz and glam at a prestigious award ceremony after turning her life around.
18-year-old Caitlin Buckley will travel to London on March 15 for The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx Celebrate Success Awards hosted by Ant and Dec.
As previously reported, this follows a series of regional events took place at the end of last year and will reach a finale in the national final at the Palladium.
Seven awards will be given out on the day by Prince’s Trust Celebrity Ambassadors, including the HomeSense Young Achiever Award, which recognises young people who have struggled through unimaginable difficulties to transform their lives and are now inspiring others to strive for such success.
Caitlin’s achievements means she is now just one of three people across the UK to be nominated for the Boeing Educational Achiever Award, which recognises young people who have been on Prince’s Trust Fairbridge or Achieve programmes, who have overcome significant personal barriers to develop new skills which enabled them to re-engage with education.
Removed from lessons for her own safety and that of others, former St Annes A-grade student Caitlin, saw her behaviour spiral so badly out of control, the police were called into school on four separate occasions.
She suffered with ADHD, dyslexia and mental health issues, and was once escorted from school grounds in restraints after suffering a breakdown.
Caitlin experienced panic attacks, was scared to leave the house without carrying a knife, used substances and self-harm as an escape, and attempted suicide several times.
She said: “I had no life, no purpose, no self-worth I didn't get out of bed, didn't do anything. I didn't care if I lived or died.”
After being referred to the Prince's Trust Cait decided to re-sit her GCSEs and successfully applied for a Development Award (a Prince’s Trust grant which helps young people pay for the equipment or training they need to get a job) to buy a laptop so she could complete her studies at her own pace.
She is now working part-time now as a lifeguard and is studying to teach at the leisure centre where she works.
“The Prince’s Trust helped me get my life back – and now I am finally happy,” she said.