AN INSPIRATIONAL teenager has been presented with a Royal award by the Prince of Wales for turning her life around and improving her future prospects.
Bethany Evans, 15, faced severe bullying at school as she struggled to cope with her education while caring for her brother, who is wheelchair-bound, has learning difficulties and problems with his breathing.
She also occasionally cares for her mother and an older brother, who require frequent visits to hospital.
After joining the Prince’s Trust, Bethany, from Thornton, began a course of learning and has now been accepted into college to study health and social care.
She was one of just two people in the country to be chosen as a finalist for the Novae Insurance Educational Achiever of the Year Award at the Prince’s Trust and Samsung Celebrate Success Awards.
Crowned as the winner, Bethany said: “I can’t believe how far I have come with the support of The Prince’s Trust.
“They helped me in so many different ways, which has made me the person I am today.
“To win this award is such an incredible feeling.
“It’s made all the hard work worthwhile and has spurred me on to work even harder in the future.”
At one time the only future she perceived for herself was as a full-time carer for her family.
She says she had lost any sense of self worth and held little ambition for the future.
She joined the McKee’s Prince’s Trust xl club, and changed her perspective of education.
She had a 100 per cent attendance record, and became a team leader, responsible for other club members, in a project to make a Christmas lunch for 31 people.
Presenting her award, musician Mark Ronson said: “Beth has had to deal with things that most teenagers don’t have to.
“To secure a place at college after the tough start she had is an incredible achievement.
“It was an absolute honour to meet her today and she thoroughly deserves to be winner of this award.”
Singer Laura Mvula, BRIT Award nominee added: “Beth came back from feeling like she had no future, to making the most of her situation and achieving beyond expectations.
“That’s a remarkable quality in someone and I’m proud to say I’ve met her.
“Nobody deserves to win this award more than her.”
The awards ceremony was a star-studded affair, hosted by Ant and Dec, and attended by Dame Helen Mirren, Homeland star Damian Lewis and Luther actor Idris Elba.