A teenager who was so traumatised during her childhood that she became an elective mute has received an award from the Duchess of Cambridge.
Emily Bowyer, of Bletsoe, has come a long way since the days when she struggled to eat or be in a room with unfamiliar people.
On Tuesday night she attended a packed glitzy awards ceremony hosted by TV’s Holly Willoughby for good cause The Fostering Network where the inspirational youngster was presented with the Fostering Achievement Award.
She even sat at a table with the Duchess, who has previously been noted for her compassion for children and young people.
The 19 year old was nominated by her foster carer Mary Laws, who said: “Emily has achieved so much more than anyone thought she would. She has amazed everyone with what she is doing.
“Emily takes and uses all the advice she is given and she has come further than I could have imagined.”
The teenager has achieved the highest possible grades in her college course and is now working towards her dream of becoming a paramedic.
Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: “Emily has shown such strength in overcoming the challenges that she has faced. She is a phenomenal young woman who hasn’t ever given up.
“I have no doubts that she will become a superb public servant as a paramedic. It is a measure of the woman that she has set her heart on caring for others. It’s all too easy to talk about the negative statistics that are often associated with children in care – that’s why we’re delighted that The Duchess has shone a light on the positive successes of Emily and the other care experienced award winners.”