Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Red Carpet Treatment for Courageous Bullying Victim

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Red Carpet Treatment for Courageous Bullying Victim

Article excerpt

Byline: Barbara Hodgson Reporter

AN Asperger's suerer who fought her way to success after her school life was made a misery by bullies is now set to be the envy of many.

Emma Reilly is preparing to mingle with Hollywood star Kevin Spacey and e X Factor's Simon Cowell at an awards night in London where she is nominated for an honour.

Emma's inspiring story has seen the 33-year-old triumph against the odds, having set up a clothes company and become a Young Ambassador for e Princes' Trust.

And on ursday she will be walking the red carpet at e Prince's Trust & Samsung Celebrate Success Awards, hosted by our own Ant and Dec, where she is one of three nalists from across the UK in with a chance of winning a royal accolade.

"It's not something you get to do a lot, especially in Newcastle - there aren't many red carpet events," said Emma, from Chapel House in Newcastle.

Emma is nominated for a Mappin and Webb Young Ambassador of the Year Award.

She's overcome the severe social phobia she developed after being bullied at school, which at its lied at school, which at its height caused up to 15 panic attacks a day.

Her Asperger's syndrome remained undiagnosed until three years ago and she said: "I didn't understand why I couldn't connect with people.

"I was badly bullied because I didn't t in very well. en I had a bit of a breakdown and was housebound for about 12 years."

A tragedy jolted her into changing her life, when her sister's boyfriend was suddenly diagnosed with cancer and died.

"It was a wake-up call to all of us," she recalled. "It changed my perspective on life.

"I decided I really wanted to do my own clothing line. When I used to get severe panic attacks, I would hide under the bed if anyone rang the doorbell, and to calm down I would picture having my own fashion company and would House Of Cards star |Kevin Spacey design products in my head."

" She successfully applied fore Prince's Trust's Enterprise programme which helps unemployed young people start up in business and the result is clothing line Brave and the Bold. …

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