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BBC awards success for Barnardo's teenagers

Release Date: 01 Nov 2017

Inspirational teenagers who are supported by Barnardo’s are celebrating after being honoured at BBC Radio 1’s Teen Awards.

Charlotte, from Preston, picked up the prestigious Radio 1 Teen Hero award for volunteering at a packed SSE Arena at Wembley in front of 10,000 people.

And Ellie, from Buckinghamshire, was a runner up in the My Mind and Me mental health category, for her work helping to raise awareness and educating people about transgender issues.

As well as enjoying the award ceremony, where the superstar line-up included Liam Payne, Rita Ora, The Vamps, Camila Cabelo and Dua Lipa, the 17-year-olds and the other award winners and nominees went to a reception at Kensington Palace.

At the reception they met Princes William and Harry, Radio 1 DJs Nick Grimshaw, Greg James and Clara Amfo and singer Rita Ora and told them about the work they do to help other children.

Radio 1 Teen Awards visit to Kensington PalaceCharlotte experienced the care system in her mid-teens and so joined Lancashire’s Children in Care Council (LINX) a group run for Lancashire County Council by children’s charity Barnardo’s, to help shape the future for other children in care.

Highlights of Charlotte’s achievements while a member of LINX include working with the Children’s Commissioner to help pass a Bill through Parliament, setting up a helpline for children in care and successfully campaigning for all 12 district councils across Lancashire to make care leavers under 25 exempt from paying council tax.

Charlotte was also involved in the national Takeover Challenge last November, during which she co-produced CBBC’s Blue Peter for the day, including the live show that went out on the BBC that evening.

Teen Hero Charlotte Bower at Radio 1

She and the group have also helped to bring about changes that allow young people to have a greater say in the services they receive in Lancashire.

Ellie was born a male but has identified as a female ever since she was young.

She is determined to use her experience to help others realise they are not alone and to understand what they are feeling.

Her work has included giving presentations to teachers on how to support young people who may be struggling with gender identity, as well as putting together a lesson plan for Barnardo’s to deliver in schools across Buckinghamshire.

As a member of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust’s youth forum she raises awareness and helps educate people about lesbian, gay and transgender issues and mental health.

Charlotte 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 decided to team up 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.

Ellie said:

It’s a privilege to be recognised for the work I am doing, but mostly I just want to use my experience to help others.

I know it can be challenging but I want people to feel that they are not alone, to understand what they are feeling and that there is support out there.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:

I’m delighted for Charlotte and Ellie that their inspirational work was recognised by the judges.

At the heart of everything they do is their commitment to helping others and letting them know that help is out there, so they too can get the support they need.  

I hope they enjoyed the reception at Kensington Palace and the award ceremony because they most definitely deserved it.”

Ellie is supported by Buckinghamshire’s Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), which is provided by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust in conjunction with Barnardo’s.

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