Cardinal Newman College student Charlotte Bower is a real hero.
The former Penwortham Girls’ High pupil was officially declared one of BBC Radio One’s Teen Heroes at an international star studded ceremony at Wembley Arena.
It was a massive surprise to find out I had been nominated and my mum and I were so happy to find out.
After being placed in care at 14, Charlotte (inset) moved between four placements in just three years.
Through Barnardos, she decided to help other young people like her to have a voice and has been a member of LINX for three years.
Along with other group members, the inspirational 17-year-old has been heavily involved in campaigning and project work, using her own experiences to help influence nationwide policy and make a difference to the lives of people in care -including getting a bill through parliament ensuring that care leavers have their Council Tax paid until they are 25.
She was also involved with the Children’s Commissioners office in setting up a helpline offering support, advice and information for young people in the care system from a dedicated team of professionals.
Charlotte was shortlisted from 40,000 to be one of just four young people to be named BBC Radio One’s Teen Heroes 2017.
Charlotte was presented with her award by BBC Radio One’s Dev and Alice Levine amidst performances from international artists.
She said: “It was a massive surprise to find out I had been nominated 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 got involved 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.”