A North East woman has won national acclaim after she overcame the challenges of having ADHD and went on to set up her own business.
Kayleigh Taylor, 27, of Wallsend, received a prestigious Prince’s Trust award at a star-studded event hosted by Ant and Dec.
The awards ceremony, which will be televised for the first time on ITV on Thursday evening, was held at the Royal Drury Lane Theater and attended by celebrity ambassadors including Sir Ben Kingsley, Amal Clooney, Anne Marie, Melanie C, Nicola Adams, Jonathan Bailey and Phoebe Dynevor.
Read More:Geordie stars Ant and Dec ‘proud of’ young people trying to transform their lives
Melanie C, of the Spice Girls, and TV presenter Emma Willis awarded Kayleigh her NatWest Enterprise Award, which recognizes the achievements of young people who have taken part in The Trust’s enterprise course and then developed a successful business.
Kayleigh, who struggled with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), faced a number of challenges from an early age. She left home during her final year of school, moving around a lot and living at friends’ homes and in supported housing.
Despite her struggles, she went on to set up her thriving food business Klee’s Kitchen, with a permanent premises in Gateshead.
She said: “ADHD is one of the biggest struggles I’ve faced. I was academically intelligent at school, but everyone thought I had behavioral issues because I couldn’t focus on lessons like others could. It wasn’t until I left school. that I was diagnosed with ADHD – as a child, I was just told I was naughty.
“I’ve had some amazing jobs since I left school, but I found it hard to stay at any of them for long. That’s when I decided I should start my own business. I’ve only been cooking for the past four years, but quickly found out that I had a talent for it. “
Kayleigh set up Klee’s Kitchen in 2020, a healthy meal prep delivery service which takes away the hassle of cooking, food shopping and washing up for people with busy lives.
She got to a point where she wanted to leave her job and concentrate on the business full-time, so she turned to The Prince’s Trust’s enterprise program for support. She now also volunteers as a speaker on the charity’s enterprise courses.
Kayleigh said: “Winning this Prince’s Trust award has given me the confidence and drive to push forward with my future plans for my business. The whole process has been so exciting and fun for me and my Klee’s Kitchen team from start to finish, and we can’t wait to shout out from the rooftops what we have achieved. “
Melanie C said: “Huge congratulations to Kayleigh, whose journey into owning her own cooking business is an inspiring example of how you can make a living out of your passion, with the right support. Kayleigh is a role model who shows that ADHD doesn ‘ t have to hold you back from achieving your career dreams. I look forward to seeing what’s next for Klee’s Kitchen. “
Emma Willis added: “Kayleigh is hugely deserving of the Enterprise Award. She has not let the challenges she’s faced at a young age, including ADHD, hold her back and has showcased her impressive work ethic by setting up and expanding her business over the past two years. Well done, Kayleigh. “
The Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards will be broadcast on ITV at 8.30pm on Thursday, May 26, recognizing young people who have succeeded against the odds.