Brighton woman beating the odds to achieve award

Charlie Burley with her American Express Breakthrough Award at The Prince’s Trust Celebrate Success Awards

Charlie Burley with her American Express Breakthrough Award at The Prince’s Trust Celebrate Success Awards

First published in News by , Health reporter

A woman who battled to turn her life around after finding herself homeless as a teenager has won a prestigious royal award.

Charlie Burley, 20, from Brighton, was supported by the Prince’s Trust youth charity after her life began to spiral out of control five years ago.

She has now won the American Express Breakthrough Award at The Prince’s Trust Celebrate Success Awards.

The award recognises young people who have developed new skills to enable them to face their challenges and stabilise their lives.

At 15, Ms Burley’s difficult childhood led to her becoming homeless and she developed an erratic lifestyle of sofa-surfing with friends.

She eventually found sheltered accommodation at her local YMCA but struggled at school, leaving with only one GCSE.

She then joined The Prince’s Trust Team programme, provided by City College Brighton and Hove, which helps disadvantaged young people gain the skills and confidence they need to turn their lives around.

Team player

Ms Burley found it difficult to settle and integrate into the programme at first but eventually her shyness wore off and she became one of its strongest team members.

She also ended up being asked for guidance and support by her peers.

As her confidence built up with the help from the trust, Ms Burley found a work placement at a local college for disabled children.

She said: “Meeting people more disadvantaged than myself made me realise I didn’t want to ruin my life.”

Ms Burley went on to secure an apprenticeship with her local Job Centre where she is now often asked to deliver presentations about the Prince’s Trust.

Road to success

She is now well on the road to developing a successful career and due to start an Open University course soon.

Ms Burley said: “I enjoyed the public training workshop and feel more confident about talking in front of people now.

“I’ve been through a lot but The Prince’s Trust has helped me to turn everything around.

“Winning this award shows how far I’ve come and I’m looking forward to getting my career started.”

Colin Walsh, executive vice president at American Express Europe, said: “On behalf of all at American Express I would like to congratulate Charlie for winning this award. Charlie has come a long way and I’d like to wish her the very best for their future.”

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Comments (8)

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6:40pm Sat 8 Dec 12

dawind says...

Well done Charlie.
Ahead is a long and winding road, with many pitfalls... but well worth the trek!
Enjoy!
Well done Charlie. Ahead is a long and winding road, with many pitfalls... but well worth the trek! Enjoy! dawind
  • Score: 0

6:55pm Sat 8 Dec 12

AmboGuy says...

Well done to her. Any squatter scum reading this then note that the world does not owe you a living and you actually have to work hard like Charlie to get anywhere in life.
Well done to her. Any squatter scum reading this then note that the world does not owe you a living and you actually have to work hard like Charlie to get anywhere in life. AmboGuy
  • Score: 0

8:21pm Sat 8 Dec 12

Vigilia says...

What a thoroughly inspiring story and I warmly congratulate Miss Burley for her achievement so far.
Moral courage and fortitude on this scale will see her succeed in whatever direction she chooses to take.
I wish you every success in the future.
What a thoroughly inspiring story and I warmly congratulate Miss Burley for her achievement so far. Moral courage and fortitude on this scale will see her succeed in whatever direction she chooses to take. I wish you every success in the future. Vigilia
  • Score: 0

10:11pm Sat 8 Dec 12

qm says...

Inspirational! Top girl!!
Inspirational! Top girl!! qm
  • Score: 0

11:07pm Sat 8 Dec 12

Charlieeb says...

Thanks for the comments, it is much appreciated. Alot of my success my down to the great people that run and support The Prince's Trust Programme, and I urge anyone aged 16-24 who is unemployed and is unsure of what they want to do in life to consider joining them!
Thanks for the comments, it is much appreciated. Alot of my success my down to the great people that run and support The Prince's Trust Programme, and I urge anyone aged 16-24 who is unemployed and is unsure of what they want to do in life to consider joining them! Charlieeb
  • Score: 0

11:26pm Sat 8 Dec 12

Vigilia says...

Well said, Charlie.
When I retired from the army, I worked for the Trust for a couple of years and I have the greatest respect for the very carefully selected people who run and manage it and for the work it does with young people who are prepared, like you, to make the effort to better themselves.
I, too, exhort anyone in that age group with no feeling of purpose and direction to join and benefit as you have done.
Well said, Charlie. When I retired from the army, I worked for the Trust for a couple of years and I have the greatest respect for the very carefully selected people who run and manage it and for the work it does with young people who are prepared, like you, to make the effort to better themselves. I, too, exhort anyone in that age group with no feeling of purpose and direction to join and benefit as you have done. Vigilia
  • Score: 0

5:49am Sun 9 Dec 12

All 9 of me says...

AmboGuy wrote:
Well done to her. Any squatter scum reading this then note that the world does not owe you a living and you actually have to work hard like Charlie to get anywhere in life.
you must be such fun on a night out
[quote][p][bold]AmboGuy[/bold] wrote: Well done to her. Any squatter scum reading this then note that the world does not owe you a living and you actually have to work hard like Charlie to get anywhere in life.[/p][/quote]you must be such fun on a night out All 9 of me
  • Score: 0

11:47am Sun 9 Dec 12

AmboGuy says...

All 9 of me wrote:
AmboGuy wrote:
Well done to her. Any squatter scum reading this then note that the world does not owe you a living and you actually have to work hard like Charlie to get anywhere in life.
you must be such fun on a night out
Why do you say that? Believe it ir not I never really discuss squatters on my nights out.

For someone who's posting on an internet forum before 6am on a Sunday I could ask you the same question. Quiet Saturday night then was it?
[quote][p][bold]All 9 of me[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]AmboGuy[/bold] wrote: Well done to her. Any squatter scum reading this then note that the world does not owe you a living and you actually have to work hard like Charlie to get anywhere in life.[/p][/quote]you must be such fun on a night out[/p][/quote]Why do you say that? Believe it ir not I never really discuss squatters on my nights out. For someone who's posting on an internet forum before 6am on a Sunday I could ask you the same question. Quiet Saturday night then was it? AmboGuy
  • Score: 0

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