This inspirational women who suffered emotional and sexual abuse knows reaching out to others is crucial for climbing out of the well of depression.
It is an attitude that landed Laura Tombs (26), from Burnley, the title of Young Ambassador of the Year for her work with The Prince’s Trust.
Laura scooped the award for speaking out about her battle with depression and an eating disorder to help bring in £2.2m. for the charity.
“It’s really good to know my work with The Trust has been recognised,” she said. “It’s taught me that I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was.”
But she didn’t stop there. Laura even worked on a training programme helping professionals like teachers and nurses gain a better understanding of eating disorders in children and adolescents.
“It can be hard for people to appreciate,” she said, “how difficult it is to have an eating disorder. There needs to be more awareness of it in the professional world. It’s about knowing the right things to say and do. So it’s good to have someone running the course who has been there and gone through it.”
Having triumphed over her painful past, this determined woman is now looking forwards towards the future. The win has fired in Laura a greater determination to build a career helping others in troubled circumstances.
“I want to become a support worker,” she said, “to help other young people with mental health difficulties.”
A courageous role-model, Laura is calling on those who are struggling to reach out to others.
“I would say accept any help you are offered,” she added. “There is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Having supported the learning of children in primary, secondary and special needs schools, Laura is passionate about helping young people make the best start to their lives.
To reach her dreams, she is currently working on a 20-week course in health and social care due to finish in February.
“I’d like to be able to give them a chance to fully appreciate their time as a young person,” she said, “and achieve all they can.”
For more information about The Trust, please visit www.princes-trust.org.uk