· 34 yr old business entrepreneur and philanthropist gives back to women’s homeless charity that helped her regain her self-belief, her children and launched her career
· Testimony that individual journeys can be changed with the right support, she has a strong desire to encourage vulnerable, homeless women that they can change their lives and to never stop striving forward
· Women’s homelessness is under-reported; too often individual voices/stories are not heard
· Important during these unprecedented times to illustrate how journeys can be changed regarding women’s homelessness
· Entrepreneur believes all women should be able to feel glamourous to support mental health/self-esteem
· Full proceeds from the Two Glam Hand Sanitiser will go to support the work of the Marylebone Project
Five years ago, following the loss of her best friend to suicide, a ‘domino effect’ of personal issues took hold and Charlotte found herself on a downward spiral of self-destruction and separated from the most precious people in her life - her young children. As a vulnerable, young woman she found herself battling survival on the streets of London, destitute and on the verge of being homeless.
Devoid of any self-esteem or self-belief, her future was looking bleak until she was offered a place at the Marylebone Project - the largest women’s-only hostel in London and the UK. Cared for and safe, during her stay Charlotte received the support and encouragement to not only return to independent living but to believe in herself, laying the foundations for her entrepreneurial future.
Abandoned during her formative teenage years, Charlotte found herself in the care system, which paved the way for a series of abusive relationships with partners and with herself. Like Charlotte, most of the vulnerable ladies who walk through the doors of the Marylebone Project have hit rock bottom, having reached a ‘crisis point’ in their life, many having experienced domestic abuse; trafficking; mental health issues and/or substance abuse.
The Marylebone Project not only offers 112 long and short-term beds, a Drop-In Day Centre for female rough sleepers and a wide range of educational training and social/well-being activities; above all else, it offers hope. It provides a safe environment - a place where women can rebuild trust,learn to re-engage with society and, through empowerment, start to re-build their lives.
“The Marylebone Project cared. They took me in, gave me a room and helped me get back my self-esteem, mental and physical health. They helped me get my flat and be reunited with my children – such a joyous moment of my life. They encouraged me to believe in myself and in my artistic talents which, stemming from the hours I spent using the creative/craft resources available to make children’s t-shirts, was the springboard to my first market stall and the start of my career.”Charlotte Armstrong
From her first market stall – ‘Little Lott London’ selling children’s clothes, Charlotte’s journey of self-help, self-empowerment and entrepreneurialism has gone from strength-to-strength. Now the CEO of ‘Too Glam’, Charlotte will be donating all the proceeds from the sales of The Too Glam Hand Sanitiser (https://tooglamhq.com)to the Marylebone Project .
The Too Glam Hand Sanitiser – featuring biodegradable diamond dust and fragrance to add a bit of glam to general hygiene, kills 99.9% bacteria helping with hygiene on the go.Now more than ever, hand hygiene is paramount, yet Charlotte strongly believes cleanliness is the start of healthy
Through a ‘chance encounter’ with ‘Emotional Freedom Techniques’, Charlotte has focussed upon her turbulent journey to turn negativity into acceptance and strength; a story of which she is proud of changing. She is committed to helping the Marylebone Project to support other homeless women experiencing acute crisis based on her first-hand experiences.
Background to the Marylebone Project
· 112 long and short-term beds – 40,000 bed nightsoffered each year
· 100%of women resettled into independent living maintain their tenanciesover Y1 (55 in 2019/20)
· The Drop-In Day Centre receives 7,000 visits per year; 1,200 new visitors per year
· The day-to-day support provided is ‘service-user’ led and is responsive to the needs of the women.
· The Project delivers education, employment/training opportunities and meaningful activities for both residents and drop-in users including
· Currently undergoing refurbishment, from 2021 the Drop-In centre will operate 24/7 providing a lifeline to vulnerable homeless women in London
· The Marylebone Project is still waiting for a decision on their application to the Tampon Tax Fund - crucial for the sustainability and future enhancements of their work
· Part of Church Army, and operating under the Portman House Trust, the Marylebone Project
has been offering accommodation and support to homeless women from its site since 1932
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