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Former Brighton teen drug addict up for royal award
A woman who faced drug addiction and losing her family is up for a royal award after turning her life around.
Tia Riddle, 20, has been chosen as a finalist for the HSBC Breakthrough Award at the Prince’s Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success Awards on March 12.
Tia was only 12 when a difficult home life saw her moved into care and she passed between different foster placements and schools.
She was left feeling unstable and after being expelled from school she became pregnant when she was 16 and then fell into drug addiction.
After an overdose her daughter was taken into care. This acted as a wakeup call to get her life back on track.
She said: “I had a difficult start in life but I finally came to the realisation that I wanted and needed an education, a routine, stability and confidence to get a better life.
“I moved to Brighton to get a fresh start and found The Prince’s Trust Team programme.
“The Prince’s Trust saved my life. If I had continued struggling with my depression without the support of the trust I would either be dead or still an addict. Their support has been incredible.”
Tia got involved with the trust after approaching City College Brighton and joined the Prince’s Trust Team programme that aims to improve the skills and confidence of young people.
Tia now has a strong career plan and a bright future, currently working part time to fund further studies in counselling, volunteering and her GCSEs.
Francesca McDonagh, head of Retail Bank and Wealth Management UK at HSBC, says: “It is a real honour to support the HSBC Breakthrough Award, which celebrates the achievements of young people who have really turned their lives around.
"We would like to congratulate Tia on being shortlisted for this award and wish her the best of luck.”
The awards will be held at London’s Leicester Square Odeon.The ceremony will be hosted by Ant and Dec and feature celebrity Prince’s Trust Ambassadors, including the musician Jools Holland. Guests will include Gary Lineker.
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