National award for Worstead mum of tragic anorexia teen

A Norfolk mother who has dedicated her life to raising awareness of eating disorders, including the anorexia that claimed the life of her daughter, has won a national award.

Pauline Robinson has become known as the 'welly woman' locally after running the 2009 London Marathon in the pink-patterned Wellington boots that her tragic daughter Charlotte loved.

Eighteen-year-old Charlotte died in 2007 when she contracted pneumonia while critically malnourished through anorexia.

Now, after courageously committing herself to tireless fundraising and campaigning, Mrs Robinson, from Worstead, near North Walsham, has won the fundraising champion award from Norwich-based eating disorders charity Beat.

On Monday, she was at the House of Commons in London to receive the award.


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The impressed judging panel said: 'Each nominee had an extraordinary story, but Pauline has shown particular courage in talking publicly about her daughter and campaigning with her family for real and lasting change. She epitomises Beat's mission.'

Mrs Robinson has also organised events, encouraged Charlotte's former school to fundraise and arranged collection tins in her local shops.

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Charlotte, a former student of Paston College in North Walsham, died just before she was set to find out that she gained three A-grade A-levels and an A-grade AS-level.

Her death led to the closing of loopholes in the care offered to teenagers with eating disorders.

In November 2009, an inquest heard that she was 'wasting away' but was not admitted to a specialist unit until her weight plunged to five-and-a-half stone.

In the space of five months the talented teenager lost more than one-third of her body weight as she struggled with a morbid terror of food.

At the end of the inquest, greater Norfolk coroner William Armstrong ruled that 'inappropriate delays' in her treatment and assessment 'reduced the likelihood of a recovery' and recommended improvements be made by NHS Norfolk and the Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Trust.

The recommendations have since been acted upon by the two organisations.

At the time of her death, Charlotte had three jobs, was doing her Duke of Edinburgh Award and had saved up her first year fees so she could go to Cambridge University.

Her death shocked her friends and peers at Paston College, which established the Charlotte Robinson Award for Outstanding Achievement to hand out annually in her memory.

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