OU in Wales student Charlotte Bailey from Treorchy in South Wales was named the winner of the Rising Star award at this year’s Womenspire awards. The Rising Star award recognises young women who have entered the workplace in the last five years and who have achieved success and demonstrated real potential.
The awards are hosted by gender equality charity Chwarae Teg and celebrate the outstanding achievements of women from across Wales showcasing the accomplishments of women from all backgrounds and stages of life.
Charlotte achieved 12 A stars at GCSE level but then had to leave school during the sixth form due to severe bullying. She was able to study with the OU without A-Level qualifications and is currently at the end of her second year of study. Charlotte has utilised challenging personal experiences to tackle social issues that affect children by becoming an active anti-bullying and mental health campaigner. In addition to this Charlotte is working on setting up her own social enterprise and is a public speaking champion mentoring students and training youth ambassadors.
Commenting on the award Charlotte said:
“'I am so incredibly honoured to receive the Chwarae Teg Womenspire Rising Star award at the age of 19, particularly given the strength of the field this year. I am very proud of what I have already achieved, but to be recognised with such a prestigious award is amazing. It still hasn't quite sunk in that I won!
“There were so many hard-working, talented and inspirational women attending the ceremony, and it was great to hear their stories in person.
“I am hoping to be able to use the award to inspire and encourage more young people like myself to take action to pursue their dreams. After all, you're never too young to change the world!
I would especially like to thank The Open University for supporting me throughout the process, and Chwarae Teg for hosting such a fabulous event celebrating so many extraordinary women from across Wales.”
Director of the OU in Wales, Louise Casella, said:
“We are all so proud of Charlotte and what she has achieved both with this award and her outstanding work so far. We are so pleased that we were able to offer Charlotte the chance to get a university education, she is a fantastic ambassador for us and for young women in Wales.”
The Open University is a proud supporter of Chwarae Teg’s work opening up educational opportunities to women across Wales. As well as celebrating Charlotte’s win the OU was pleased to be able to sponsor and present this year’s Rural Wales award at the ceremony.
Find out more about Charlotte’s story in this video featuring her and the other shortlisted nominees.
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