A HIGHCLIFFE woman has won a prestigious national award for her work to raise awareness of domestic violence and mental health issues.

Award-winning businesswoman Charlotte Fantelli, who founded the social network mentalhealthy.co.uk, was honoured at the recent Empowering Women Awards in London.

The ceremony was attended by celebrities including Alesha Dixon and Will Young, who helped to choose this year’s winners.

Charlotte was given the Child Survivor of the Year award.

Charlotte battled with mental health problems including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and phobic disorders from a young age.

At 15 she was diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorders and was sometimes unable to leave the house because of agoraphobia. She left school after her GCSEs and developed obsessive compulsive disorder as a way of trying to control her anxiety.

But she managed, with help from her husband, to turn her life around, launching the first ever mental health magazine Uncovered and mental health website, which has been voted the number one destination online for mental health.

Charlotte said: “I’m overwhelmed to have won this award and thrilled to be able to attend this special ceremony, amongst such inspirational characters.

“I’m extremely passionate about raising awareness of domestic violence and it’s fantastic that these brilliant awards bring people together to do exactly that.”

The awards recognise and honour the bravery and achievement of women survivors of domestic violence and those who work to support women and children affected by abuse.

Alesha Dixon said: “These awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the courage and achievements of those who stand up and speak out against domestic violence.

“I am privileged to be a part of this special evening which breaks the taboo surrounding the silence of domestic violence.”