A TEENAGER enjoyed the experience of a lifetime when he made it through to the second round of auditions for hit TV talent show the X Factor.
Sam Charles sailed through the first audition at the Old Trafford football stadium in Manchester - but nerves got the better of him in the second round and led to his departure from the competition.
But the 17-year-old, who has special emotional and behavioural needs and lives at the Ubu residential support agency in Sharrow, was thrilled to have made it past the tough judging panel at least once.
He impressed with renditions of The Script’s The Man Who Can’t Be Moved and the classic Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone.
The performances marked a huge turning point for Sam, who had struggled with low self-esteem but worked through his issues to be able to stand up on stage and sing.
Margaret Rowley, from Ubu, said: “We were all very proud of Sam auditioning for the X Factor and the positive comments that he received there.
“He was asked to try again next year and I hope he does, as he is a talented young man who is facing his challenges and responding positively.
“Sam is very polite and has matured into a very caring young man in the two years he has been with us.
“He is working hard towards living independently which will be his next step when he leaves Ubu and we will continue to support him in this aim.”
n Ubu offers tailored support to its residents, working with them to manage their behaviour, gain life skills, find employment and build relationships.