Chatteris Cleaning Fairies sparkle and win royal award

CLEANING fairies Olivia Steers and Carla Shand have won a prestigious Royal award after turning their lives around with help from The Prince’s Trust.

The two Chatteris women were crowned winners of the CAM Rider Enterprise Award at the youth charity’s Celebrate Success Awards last night.

Carla, 29, and Olivia, 28, went from struggling to raise their families on benefits to running their own successful cleaning company, The Cleaning Fairies, with help from The Prince’s Trust.

Both were unemployed single mothers, struggling to survive on benefits. Carla had helped in her parents’ cleaning business but, when her mother suffered a long-term illness and died, Carla struggled to cope.

At the same time, Olivia also lost a close friend. The young women, who had known each other for years, supported one another through this difficult time. They decided they wanted to provide a good life for their children and needed to come off benefits.

It was at this point they approached The Prince’s Trust for support to set up their own cleaning business. The Trust saw their potential, offering a business mentor, Robert Moorhouse, and a �4,500 loan which helped launch The Cleaning Fairies.

The company undertakes all domestic cleaning, including regular cleaning, one-off spring cleans and carpet cleaning. The glowing reputation of the company has spread rapidly throughout the area and the business has gone from strength to strength.

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Carla and Olivia have already purchased a second van from their own funds and, in a short time, expect to double their turnover. They are looking to expand into commercial office cleaning. They are also currently interviewing for staff, so will soon be providing jobs for others in the local area.

Carla said: “I’m over the moon that we’ve won this award. I was at rock bottom not so long ago. I was struggling with the loss of my mum and barely surviving to support my own family on benefits. Life has changed so much since then. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without The Prince’s Trust.”

Bern Adams of CAM Rider, said: “We are delighted to sponsor this award, which celebrates the courage and commitment of young people who have overcome adversity to change their life for the better. We congratulate Carla and Olivia on winning this prestigious award.”

The Prince’s Trust Celebrate Success Awards honour the achievements of disadvantaged young people supported by The Trust who have succeeded against the odds, improved their chances in life and had a positive impact on their local community. The award ceremony took place at West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge, and was hosted by entrepreneur and TV personality Raef Bjayou.

Youth charity The Prince’s Trust helps change young lives. It gives practical and financial support, developing key workplace skills such as confidence and motivation. It works with 14- to 30-year-olds who have struggled at school, have been in care, are long-term unemployed or have been in trouble with the law.