Inspirational young people from Norfolk and Suffolk honoured with royal awards
A Beccles writer who was left with a severe brain injury after being involved in a near-fatal accident as a child was among those honoured with a royal award for her inspirational story.
Gracie Wright, 31, from Beccles, along with Bradley Bebbington, age 20 from Norwich, scooped top awards at The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx and Homesense Celebrate Success Awards.
The ceremony, held at the Craig Gordon Theatre in Stevenage last night, aims to recognise the achievements of young people across the East of England who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their local community.
Ms Wright experienced post-trauma amnesia after being hit by a car at the age of 11, and had to begin building back her memories, re-establishing relationships and learning to read and write again. She was bullied at school and experienced severe depression.
She began working as a children’s nanny and turned to The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme for help, where she was connected with a mentor. She now writes children’s picture books, runs workshops and holiday camps for children, promoting positive thinking and encouraging children to overcome their barriers.
Ms Wright, who won the NatWest Enterprise award, said: “I am in absolute shock. It was such a privilege to be nominated let alone win the award! It is a huge encouragement for me to continue with my business and I am sure it will open doors for new adventures.”
Mr Bebbington was presented with the LEA Rising Star award.
After an unstable childhood, he left home and with no money and spent most of his nights wandering the streets, hoping friends would offer him a sofa to sleep on. A promised job didn’t materialise and it was then that he took part in Make Your Mark, a scheme ran between The Prince’s Trust and M&S.
Slowly, Mr Bebbington began to believe in himself again and his confidence grew. He is now a full-time, permanent member of staff.
He said: “I am over the moon. The Prince’s Trust has changed my life and now I can look to the future with hope. I joined with nothing to give and I came out a completely different person. I am now able to give back to people who are in a similar situation to me.”
Suzanne Elliot, 31, from Carbrooke, was named runner up for the Enterprise award while Richard Priss, 27, from Norwich, was named runner up for the TK Maxx and Homesense Young Achiever of the Year award. Samantha Kerr, 23, from Norwich, was named runner up for the Young Ambassador of the Year award.