A teenage girl from Preston who went through the care system in Lancashire is on of the UK’s teen heroes.Advertisement
Charlotte Bower, 17, was granted the BBC Radio 1 Teen Award 2017.
The Cardinal Newman College student was presented with the award in-front of 10,000 people in London.
She was one of four winners and received the award for her volunteering work with Lancashire’s Children in Care Council known as LINX.
Charlotte experiencing the care system in her mid-teens and has been a member of LINX for three years.
During that time she has helped work to pass a bill through Parliament, set up a helpline for children in care and successfully campaigned for all 12 district councils across Lancashire to make care leavers under-25 exempt from paying council tax.
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She said: “It was a massive surprise to find out I had been nominated to be a Teen Hero and my mum and I were so happy to find out. It’s been hectic since winning the award but it’s been such an amazing experience.
“I got involved with Barnardo’s as I wanted to start speaking up about issues and also to represent so many others in similar situations too. It’s a great feeling when we get together and work hard as a group to resolve an issue. I love seeing the outcome when a problem gets fixed and other people’s lives have improved as a result. It has helped me boost my confidence massively and has given me a voice, which I didn’t feel was being heard before.”
During Charlotte’s time in London she met pop stars including Rita Ora and George Ezra.
Barnado’s children’s services manager in Lancashire Debbie Nolan-Plunkett said: “We could not be more thrilled that Charlotte has been honoured as a Teen Hero. Charlotte is an inspirational young woman who is committed, determined and humble and she goes above and beyond in her work with LINX to make sure that the voices of children in care are heard loud and clear. Her work has helped to make a difference to the lives of children in care around the country and I have no doubt that as her work continues, she will make a difference to the lives of many more.”
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Cabinet member for children, young people and schools county councillor Susie Charles said: “I’m delighted that Charlotte has been acknowledged for the outstanding contribution she has made helping other young people. Charlotte is clearly an inspirational young person, setting an example to others at such a young age. This recognition shows how a single person can affect change, and the difference that can be made. I’d like to send Charlotte my personal congratulations on receiving such prestigious national recognition. This is wonderful news.”
Do you k now Charlotte? You can leave your tributes in the comments below