Laura and Rachel Beattie, who are from Stretford, have been shortlisted for The Prince’s Trust Young Achiever Award at The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards in partnership with TSB.
The Pride of Britain Awards celebrate the achievements of truly remarkable people who make our world and community a better place. Screened on ITV1 on Thursday 4th November, it is the biggest awards show of its kind on British TV.
Every year, The Prince’s Trust Young Achiever Award recognises the accomplishments of young people who have overcome significant challenges against the odds after being supported by HRH The Prince of Wales’s charity and are now giving back to their community by helping others do the same.
Laura and Rachel are sisters and the founders of sustainable and inclusive fashion company, Careaux, through which they are focussed on making a positive impact through their advocacy and volunteering work. They were supported to start up in business by The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme in 2018 and have a sustainable business model which has already seen them divert more than 1000m of fabric from going to landfill.
Careaux combines timeless silhouettes with a world-first innovation. Each Careaux garment is offered in any size and is made with a hidden zip around the waist, enabling the dress to separate into a top and a skirt. This “Careaux Concept” is designed with circular fashion at heart and dramatically decreases the number of pieces needed to create different style, colour and fabric combinations.
Laura said: “The Enterprise Programme and was definitely a high point for me. It was incredible and it helped in so many ways, both in our business and lives. It laid the foundations for Careaux to allow us to grow which we are doing now and build Careaux – preparing for the launch of our next ready-to-wear collection.”
Laura has Cystic Fibrosis and is on the double lung transplant organ donation list. Being her own boss helps her to work flexibly, helping her to manage her condition. She says: “Cystic Fibrosis has many challenges and has had an impact throughout my life. In 2017, I began assessments to be put on the lung transplant waiting list whilst starting Careaux and I was diagnosed with anxiety. Being listed was a low point as it emphasised that my health was deteriorating, and this was the only option that was available to me. Although I am still on the list, launching Careaux has given me hope when my future felt so uncertain and a chance to achieve my dreams with Rachel.”
Laura is a very active and dedicated disability advocate, sharing her own experiences to help raise awareness for people with disabilities through media interviews and campaigning.
Together, through Careaux, Laura and Rachel are committed to doing everything they can to help their industry and the world to become fully inclusive, diverse and accessible. They volunteer as mentors, speakers and panellists and launched their own community and interview series, The Inclusive viewpoint is to share ideas, best practices and actions with others.
Using the skills they built during the Enterprise programme, Laura and Rachel also launched two social enterprises:
The Emmy Difference that increases the representation of diverse role models in STEM (plus every order donates a free breakfast to vulnerable children in the UK to fuel their learning) and This is Visibility a free members programme that tackles the economic inequality and poverty facing disabled people in the UK.
In addition, Careaux’s mission is to be fully inclusive and to celebrate incredible role models who are creating positive change through their #CareauxRoleModels campaign.
Since launching Careaux, the sisters have spent more than 5000 hours volunteering with more than 100 organisations, from delivering workshops in schools to speaking and raising awareness on diversity and inclusion, engaging 10,000s people.
They have supported more than 20 charities through fundraising, creating and donating Careaux pieces to raise awareness. At the height of the pandemic, Rachel and Laura also hand-sewed PPE for the NHS and launched a campaign to support those most vulnerable.
Speaking about being a finalist for the Prince’s Trust Young Achiever award in the Pride of Britain awards, Rachel and Laura said: “We are so proud to be Pride of Britain finalists and celebrate all of the achievements of the amazing people who are working to create a better now and future. We would like to thank all of the other finalists for the work they have done and the change that they are making and will continue to make. We are extremely grateful to the Prince’s Trust for their support from the very first time we spoke to them to the amazing support we continue to receive. They took a chance on us and that is something we will never forget.”
Laura and Rachel were shortlisted for the prestigious award and, along with four other finalists, visited The Prince’s Trust South London Centre to meet with the judging panel, which included representatives from ITV, The Mirror and The Prince’s Trust.
The winner will be invited to receive their award and special recognition at the star-studded award ceremony recorded in London on 30th October 2021.
The Prince’s Trust helps young people all over the UK who are unemployed or struggling in their education to build a better future for themselves through employment, education and enterprise. The youth charity has helped more than a million young people since it was founded in 1976 and three in four of those supported over the last five years have moved into work, education or training.