Charlie's plans for A Levels and university were shattered by a diagnosis of Lymphoma.
I had as much hair as a baby gosling.
At 17, Charlie from south London was half-way through his A-Levels and starting to think about which university to go to.
These plans, however, were thrown up in the air when he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
He started receiving treatment immediately, which fortunately was successful. However, it greatly damaged his immune system and left him unable to leave the house, let alone go to school. Charlie said, "all of a sudden the prospect of university seemed very distant."
His treatment was at King's Hospital, who have a connection to The Chartwell Cancer Trust. Chartwell are huge advocates of AV1 robots, and quickly identified them as a great solution for Charlie. He accepted, and the robot was sent to Charlie's school, while Charlie downloaded the AV1 app, ready to reconnect with his learning.
Tentatively, Charlie said "I had almost no idea what to expect, but we filled out the forms anyway in the hope of it being mildly useful to me."
He then, through AV1, connected to school most days and participated in lessons almost as usual, adding "you definitely don’t want to be watched, so having the robot as the thing that people focus on - and not your actual face - is good."
The technology surpassed any expectations that I had had by a distance. It allowed me to realise that whilst my body was unable to physically attend school, this did not affect my mind.
Charlie was so impressed with AV1, and thankful he was given one, he wrote a letter to the company that funded it through Chartwell – called Laptops and Lipstick. In the letter he said, "the technology surpassed any expectations that I had had by a distance. It allowed me to realise that whilst my body was unable to physically attend school, this did not affect my mind."
Incredibly, Charlie went on to achieve an A* in Politics despite his illness and 2020 exam cancellations. This helped him get a place to study politics at York University the following year, something he said at one point he thought he'd never do.