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Gardening glory for Scarborough business owner who went from sleeping rough to winning a Prince's Trust award

Sami with Tony Wales from Natwest at the awards ceremony.
Sami with Tony Wales from Natwest at the awards ceremony.

A Scarborough woman has told how she went from sleeping rough to winning a top award for 'succeeding against the odds'.

Samantha Kirby was presented with the NatWest Enterprise award at the Yorkshire and Humber Prince’s Trust Awards ceremony on Thursday evening.

Last year, Samantha, known as Sami, completely turned her life around from sleeping on the streets to launching her own business, SK Gardens.

At the age of 13 she started skipping school and running away from home.

She said: “Everything started going downhill at secondary school and everywhere I went I was getting picked on so the best option for me was just to run away. Then when I left school I mixed in with the wrong crowds. I drank a lot and took drugs then I ended up on the streets in Hull.

“I then came back to Scarborough and I was sofa-surfing still drinking and taking drugs until I was about 20.”

Her life spiralled out of control until a she received a suspended prison sentence for thefts which “was the only thing that has ever really scared” her.

From that point on Sami received counselling for depression, got her “own little flat” and started helping her grandma and grandad in their garden as she wanted to do something.

She then met a Prince’s Trust rep at the job centre and they “planted a seed of hope.”

The Prince’s Trust encouraged Sami to attend its Enterprise programme which helped her start her own business.

From the four day course she wrote a business plan, secured a £1,300 start-up grant and gained qualifications to become “self-sufficient” with her business.

The 31-year-old said: “Having the business is keeping me going. Even though I’m still struggling with me the business helps because I’ve got a lot of things to do.

"But because of the Prince’s Trust and the support of my grandparents, I am much happier now.”

Her passion has also earned her other awards including Young Gardener of the Year at this years Muck and Magic competition.