A YOUNG woman who lived on the streets has been recognised for her courage at a prestigious awards ceremony.

Daisy McDonnell, 22, who now lives in Bransgore, won the 'young achiever of the year' prize at the Prince's Trust awards.

The ceremony, hosted by Ant and Dec, was attended by celebrities including Cheryl, Olivia Colman, Tom Hardy and Bryan Cranston, as well as Prince Charles.

Before contacting the Prince's Trust for support, Daisy was struggling. She was homeless and had lost a close friend.

She said: "After a traumatic and harrowing bereavement, the collapse of my relationship and the reclaiming of my flat, I began to give up hope.

"Trying to hold down a full-time job while living on the streets proved extremely difficult.

"The people that were around me during that period of my life were volatile at best, on several occasions becoming increasingly dangerous and aggressive.

"I felt like there were situations where I could have died."

Daisy was advised to join a Prince's Trust programme by volunteers at the Clockwork Sanctuary, a day centre for homeless people.

As a result, she enrolled on a 12-week course to build her confidence and employability.

"It became the one constant I could look forward to. And I did - every single day," she said.

“I managed to secure an apprenticeship as an outdoor instructor and find more stable living accommodation.

"This has been a great opportunity – I have developed new skills, new confidence and new passions."

Daisy has completed a range of sailing qualifications and says she is surrounded by "like-minded, happy people".

"I have grown to accept my past and learn from my mistakes," she said.

"I can’t believe I’ve won this award. I really wasn’t expecting it.

"I’m in a really happy place now and looking forward to making the most of the opportunities that come."

Judges at the ceremony hailed Daisy's "courage, determination and resilience to turn her life around".

The Prince's Trust awards recognises the efforts of young people who have succeeded against the odds and improved their chances in life.