Inspirational young woman put forward for national award

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Carolanne, a young woman from Newhaven who has turned her life around through a combination of determination and support, has reached the final stage of a national award scheme.

Having overcome homelessness, a history of alcohol misuse and offending behaviour, Carolanne, 21, − who is mum to a four-week-old baby − has made the final five of the YMCA Youth Matters Awards 2015, Young Achiever of the Year category.

The YMCA Youth Matters Awards 2015 celebrate the work YMCAs do, honouring young people who have made exceptional progress and recognising the staff and volunteers who make it possible.

Carolanne in part owes her transformation to the YMCA and a nine-month coaching and personal development programme provided by national charity Youth at Risk.

She said: “It’s great to have been nominated for such a big award for what I’ve achieved. It has been a hard road but I’ve come a long way and I’m now a proud mum with so much to look forward to.”

Carolanne has now secured accommodation, holds a voluntary position in a charity shop and has started a parenting course at college.

She plans on studying for GCSEs in maths and English and longer-term hopes to pursue a career in youth work.

She added: “To anyone who’s facing the same problems I’ve had in the past, I’d say ask for help – there are so many organisations out there who are willing to help you and get you where you want to be in life.”

Public voting is now taking place for the five YMCA Young Achiever nominees and closes on Friday, August 14. The winners will be announced on October 22 at a celebration event in London.

To vote for Carolanne, visit www.ymca.org.uk/youth-opportunities/awards and select the Young Achiever of the Year category.

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