Emma spent 12 years crippled by an extreme social phobia. With support from The Princeâ€™s Trust she overcame her problems to run her own business and address 400-strong audiences as a Young Ambassador.
After suffering from undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome and bullying at school, Emma developed a social phobia; she had up to 15 panic attacks in a day if she had to interact with anyone. Finding or keeping a job was impossible.
Some tragic news made her reassess her life and she became determined to start her own design company. She applied for our Enterprise programme which helps unemployed young people start up in business and clothing line Brave and the Bold was born.
Emma has been a committed Young Ambassador, always going the extra mile in the role.
She has attended many Enterprise courses in Newcastle to inspire other young entrepreneurs, giving them an insight into her journey and establishing immediate rapport with those who have experienced similar challenges to hers.
"Growing up I had no one I could really identify with and never believed someone like me could run a business. As a Young Ambassador I want to help other young people to realise they can do it - having a mental health condition is not a barrier to success."
As a talented public speaker, she bravely shares her story with large audiences at fundraising events around the UK and has given many press interviews. She thinks nothing of stepping in at the last moment and will often personally help young people with her graphic and web design skills or by giving them her contact details if they need someone to talk to.
Since becoming a Young Ambassador, her confidence has grown and she has come to realise how much she is capable of.
In March 2015 Emma is launching a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to help fund the production of a new range of sunglasses. Each pair has been inspired by the sights and culture of the North East Coast.
“I’m a much braver person since I’ve been in the Young Ambassador role. It’s helped me realise my struggles weren’t for nothing, and that negative experiences can be turned into something positive.”