A dad from Sunderland who found himself homeless aged 16 has won an award after turning his life around
Luke Anderson, a single parent from Sunderland, was awarded the Inspiration Award at the annual Centrepoint Awards.
Luke became homeless at 16 while still at school.
After a difficult relationship with his daughter’s mother and a lengthy court process to get custody of his daughter he developed difficulties with his mental health.
Since coming to Centrepoint, and becoming the first single father supported by the charity, bosses say he has demonstrated excellent parenting skills, always prioritising his daughter’s needs.
He is now preparing for them to move into a home of their own.
Luke received his award from singer Tallia Storm and Lesley McPherson from sponsor of the award and Centrepoint partner, The Co-operative Bank, at the ceremony hosted at London’s Century Club.
Luke said: “When I found out that I had won the award it was a surprise to be honest. I never knew that I was getting nominated or anything.
“The first thing that come out of my mouth when I found out was ‘alright, why?’ because, the staff are lovely at Centrepoint, but they think far too highly of me.
“It’s a big shock because to me because it’s just me living my normal life, but as the awards have got closer I’ve got more and more excited for it.”
The ceremony recognised the accomplishments of six young people who have been supported by Centrepoint and its’ partner charities across the UK.
The award winners – recognised for their success in areas such as education, career progression and life transformation - were selected by a panel of Centrepoint’s staff.
The individual awards are supported by organisations including Selfridges, First Port and The Co-operative Bank.
‘Voice of the X-Factor,’ Peter Dickson, hosted the event and other celebrity guests included comedian Hussain Manawer, hairdresser Errol Douglas and actor Matt Barber.
Seyi Obakin, CEO of Centrepoint, said: “We are extremely proud of the achievements of all the young people nominated for this year’s Centrepoint Awards.
"They have shown great strength of character to overcome the obstacles in their paths, despite their different experiences of homelessness.
“As the rate of youth homelessness continue to climb, it’s crucial that we help even more young people tap into the resources they need early on to feel safe and transform their lives for the better.”