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Katie Walker’s Story

Happy Katie “Always follow your passion and never give up on your dreams. The Prince’s Trust gave me something to live for.
The counselling I received made me look to the past but The Trust helped me to look to the future.”
Katie had a good, happy childhood and always knew that she wanted to do hair and beauty. At the age of 18, she went to live and work in Spain with her boyfriend but very sadly her boyfriend passed away.
Katie felt as though her world was broken and started drinking heavily and taking drugs becoming trapped in a downward spiral. She moved back to the UK and aged 23, she opened a salon. Unfortunately, the person who owned the salon told her numerous lies and, owing to her naivety, she had no idea about his deceit; the building was repossessed and she lost all her stock and her money and was left with nothing.
At this point, Katie joined The Prince’s Trust and started to put together a business plan to open a business again. Sadly, whilst she was doing this, she lost the baby she was expecting and, owing to complications, she was told that she would not be able to ever have children without having IVF treatment. Katie was understandably devastated and turned again to drink and drugs.
Katie said:
At the age of 25 I met my ex-partner, we settled down very quickly and I was happy about this. I felt like my life was finally coming together. I didn’t notice that I had stopped talking to my friends and family, but why would I? I was completely wrapped up in a perfect relationship.
We had been together about 7 months when we went on his works day out to the races. We had an amazing day but my ex had got too drunk and I was worried he would get himself in trouble. So, he and I, along with 2 of his friends (who I had only just met that day), all headed back to my house.
My ex was being aggressive but initially, not towards me, I didn’t feel at all threatened or worried at this point. He just seemed like he had drunk to much! When we got home he started getting more and more aggressive, punching walls and shouting. His friend’s girlfriend and I sat in the garden, he was in the kitchen, but I could hear my ex’s friend telling him to calm down as he was scaring us.
Suddenly my ex came running out to the garden and was screaming in my face “oh, am I scaring you?” Then he punched me off my chair. I can remember lying there in shock on the ground thinking if I don’t look at him he will stop. That’s the last thing I can remember.
Katies Injuries I don’t remember how long the attack went on for but I do know he had kicked me so hard that I had passed out. When I woke up his friend’s girlfriend was screaming and saying that we needed to get out of the house dragging me across the garden.
As we escaped out of the house the police were coming down the road. One of the neighbours had heard the screams and had called the police. They will never know how grateful I am. Afterwards I was told that he had also hit the female police officer. When the police asked who had done this to me I didn’t want to tell them. I was still trying to protect him!
I went to the hospital and found out the extent of the damage. He had broken both my cheek bones, shattered my nose and eye sockets and I had fractures to my skull and a broken jaw. I still had no idea what had happened.
For the following 3 months, I was in and out of hospital getting facial reconstruction, having had metal plates inserted to reconstruct my face and my jaws were wired in place, but even while I lay in a hospital bed, my only concern was “is he ok?”
Looking back now, I still can’t believe how much I was controlled by this person, isolating myself from my friends and family and even to the point of not wanting to press charges because I worried for his safety!. The police went ahead and pressed charges anyway and he got 5 and half years in jail. The next few years for me were hell. I cut myself off from everyone, not leaving the house and wondering why the person I love could do this to me, I was depressed and received counselling.
Years later (in 2018) Katie said she will never physically fully recover from what had happened, she has been in hospital numerous times to have operations to repair the damage to her face. When Katie’s ex-partner was released from prison, she went to live in Canada but couldn’t stop thinking about her dream to open a salon. Katie decided to return home where she met the man who was to become her husband. He encouraged her to return to The Prince’s Trust, she attended the Enterprise programme and in 2013, she opened her hair and beauty salon, Bella Mode. She had finally done it!
The business has gone from strength to strength and her confidence has increased with it. She now has something to live for and feels that The Princes Trust saved her life. She feels that her Business Exec at The Trust wanted it for her as much as she wanted it for herself! Katie also feels that she couldn’t have done it without the support of her wonderful mentor.
Katies Salon Last year, Katie was a regional finalist in the Enterprise category at the NW Celebrate Success awards. She also has a Facebook page and helps empower victims of domestic violence through talking about her own experiences. Katie also recommends The Trust to anyone and everyone! Katie should be hugely proud of all she has achieved which is incredibly inspiring and she is a joy to have as a Young Ambassador.
Princes Trust Katie is now keen to expand the business upstairs, to open a second salon and potentially a training school for young people like the person she was before she found The Trust. Katie was recently voted The Prince’s Trust Pride of Britain Winner. She is in the process of setting up her own charity, “Katie Cares” to further help victims of domestic violence.

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