A TEENAGER who finished her A-levels despite battling an eating disorder and coping with her father's shock death is in the running to win one of our Forging a Future for all Awards.

The Dudley, Stourbridge and Halesowen News has teamed up with Dudley Council and partners to help launch the awards to celebrate individuals and organisations who are doing great things across the Dudley borough.

Robyn Churchill has been nominated for the Young Achiever Award by her sister Karla for "showing true dedication and the will to continue" during an upsetting and traumatic time.

She said they lost their beloved dad, Julian 'Jules' Churchill "suddenly and unexpectedly" in June last year.

The 52-year-old had been hospitalised with a bleed to the brain and initially, the family were told that his prognosis was good.

But sadly, he contracted E coli and after spending four weeks on a critical care unit, medics decided further treatment was futile and palliative care was the only option.

He died five days later on June 17.

Karla said the five-and-a-half weeks their dad was hospitalised was "extremely traumatic and devastating" and the upset was prolonged due to his death being referred to the coroner.

"As a result, Robyn, who was only a tender 17-years-old at the time and overcoming anorexia nervosa, started attending counselling and took medication to help deal with the trauma and loss."

Despite all of this, Robyn, who is now 18, continued to with her studies at Haybridge Sixth Form in Hagley and successfully complete her A-level qualifications.

Then, in January this year, Robyn and her life-long dance partner Jade Tinker opened their own studio in Angel Street, Dudley, known as The Jewels Academy.

Karla said: "The name is a nod to our dad. It took a lot of hard work from family and friends to get the studio ready to teach the wonderful children, youths and adults of Dudley and the surrounding areas.

"It is a beautiful boutique style fitness studio which specialises in pole fitness, aerial hoop/lyra, aerial silks and more.

"The aim is to offer a fun way to exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle without going to a standard gym, by offering weekly classes for adults, teens and children from complete beginners through to professional performers.

"Since the launch of the Jewels Academy, the business has gone from strength to strength, with Robyn teaching classes four days a week.

"It still amazes me that Robyn somehow managed to complete her A-level examinations at such a difficult time. I am unsure if I could have done the same.

"Robyn simply wants to make our dad proud and feels deeply saddened that he will not be around to see the Jewels Academy blossom and flourish.

"However, we as a family are incredibly proud and know that she will continue to put 100 per cent into the studio and all those who visit."

Robyn will find out if she has won at a glitzy black tie event at Copthorne Hotel in Dudley on Tuesday, November 27.

People have until October 24 to nominate the borough's unsung heroes in one of the 12 categories: Improving the Local Environment Award - individual and group awards, Outstanding Contribution to Education Award, Young Achiever Award, Community Award, Transportation Award, Better Connected Award, Rising Apprentice Star of the Year, Business of the Year, Visitor Attraction Volunteer of the Year, Lifetime achievement Award (open to people working within a visitor attraction), Town Centre Ambassador of the Year.

Visit www.dudleynews.co.uk/awards/forgingafuture to find out how.