An inspirational schoolgirl from Mansfield has scooped a major honour and wide acclaim for her outstanding contribution to a national children’s charity.
Volunteer Chloe Atlas was presented with a star award to recognise her commitment to the work of the Children’s Society with vulnerable teenagers who suffer from abuse, neglect and poverty.
The 15-year-old, who has overcome personal difficulties of her own, works for the charity via its Nottinghamshire-based project, Safe Choices, which tackles child sexual exploitation.
On receiving the award, she said she was extremely grateful and added: “I was so shocked to win and hadn’t expected it at all. The Children’s Society has done amazing things to help me, and it’s great how much progress I have made.
“Its support has improved my confidence so much and helped me to concentrate on school. I’m now happy with my life, and my dad is also so proud of me.”
Chloe has used her experiences in a positive way to not only transform her own life but also to raise awareness of the problems facing other young people.
She was honoured at the Children’s Society’s annual Over The Rainbow event, which hails the “exceptional achievements, resilience and determination of children and young people involved with the charity”.
Her mentor at Safe Choices, project worker Dean Barr, described her as “an impressive young woman, who is a true inspiration to us all.” Mr Barr added: “Chloe is a talented artist and has used art, music and writing to express her thoughts and feelings. Through her bravery and willingness to learn, she has helped to safeguard others.”
Among those to praise Chloe at the ceremony, which was held at Burnley Football Club, were the charity’s chief executive, Matthew Reed, and its area director, Rob Jackson.
The Children’s Society runs services to help vulnerable youngsters and their families who feel they have nowhere left to turn.