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Charlotte Smith wins Lions Club International Young Ambassador for Great Britain and Ireland
3:16pm Thursday 8th March 2012 in News
A teenager who has helped orphans in South Africa and supported countless local charities has won the Lions Club International Young Ambassador for Great Britain and Ireland.
She is in the European final in Belgium in September, and could compete in the internationals in Korea.
Charlotte Smith was inspired to help poverty stricken children after being chosen as an overseas ambassador for Birchwood High School when she was 14.
Her mum, Lisa Wong, aged 40, of Burrough Close, said: “When she came home, her outlook on life was completely different.
“She said she had a better life than orphans and wanted to go back.
“She has continued to fall in love with the people out there.
“She thinks that she is an ordinary girl, she doesn’t realise how much she has achieved and how special she is.
“She is inspirational.”
Charlotte has returned to South Africa four times, receiving plane tickets as birthday and Christmas presents.
Last year she distributed sporting equipment, with sponsorship from Frontis, and blankets and plans to return this summer.
She joined Birchwood Lions and has raised funds for various local groups.
She plans to share her £1,700 prize with charities, Food Bank, St Rocco’s, Brainwave, Thomas Risley Church, Elim Home and four orphanages in South Africa.
She has inspired residents to knit bonnets for premature babies and works with autistic and dyslexic children.
Charlotte, aged 18, who wants to be a PE teacher, said: “The most rewarding thing for me is knowing that I have helped someone else and had an oppoortunity to work hard at something and achieve my goal.
“People will forget what you said, they may forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”