Tonight (Monday) Daventry & District Housing volunteer Jamie Over will be attending the Prince’s Trust Award Ceremony in Derby where he has been shortlisted for the Young Achiever’s Award for the East Midlands.
The recognition is part of the annual Celebrate Success Awards run by the Trust in conjunction with Samsung, which showcase inspiring young people that have overcome barriers to make positive contributions in their community.
Jamie is 27 years old and lives in Daventry. He was first diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome two years ago, yet since then has become an active volunteer with DDH organising dozens of events for the local community.
These have included coffee mornings for older residents living in DDH sheltered schemes.
Jamie, who was named the DDH Star Awards Volunteer of the Year for 2013, said: “I am delighted to have made the finals for the ‘Young Achiever Award’ for the East Midlands. I am extremely proud and honoured to have been nominated.
“Since my diagnosis with Asperger’s I have always been nervous about things like going to college and being in a large group of people. But my confidence has increased so much after all the volunteering I’ve been doing with DDH and in the local community. I really enjoy the work I do, helping people and making a difference to their lives.”
If Jamie is successful at the awards ceremony, which is being held at the Roundhouse in Derby tonight, he will go through to the national event held in London that is attended by the Prince of Wales.
Jamie has also been acknowledged by Northampton College where he recently completed a Level 2 NVQ in Business Administration. He has won an award for ‘Most Improved Student’ in recognition of his ability to overcome learning difficulties and his great dedication to his studies. Jamie will receive his award at a special ceremony on Friday 28 November.
Jo Miller, Volunteer Co-ordinator at DDH said, “We have lots of volunteers in a variety of areas at Daventry & District Housing and Jamie has certainly set the standard. He was one of our first volunteers and he has been brilliant.“It’s been a privilege to be part of Jamie’s journey and see his confidence grow in the last year. He fully deserves all of the recognition he has received.”
Jamie’s Northampton College tutor, Stephen Roberts, said: “Jamie’s various learning difficulties had previously affected his confidence and social interaction skills but less than a few months into the course, he organised a successful coffee morning and even arranged for several different high-profile spokespeople to appear at the event.
“Another highlight for Jamie was when he overcame his shyness to complete a customer service assessment on the phone systems for Daventry District Housing. Following his training, Jamie’s performance was excellent and the change in his confidence was staggering. He has improved with every new assessment and always worked tirelessly to ensure his work is of the highest standard possible.”
Deborah Jewell, Town Clerk at Daventry Town Council, who also provided support to Jaime, added: “Jamie came to the Town Council offices two years ago, asking for work experience as part of the Princes’ Trust programme. We admired his courage and were lucky enough to have opportunities within our museum development project.
“Since that day, Jamie has grown and continues to grow in confidence, enthusiasm and desire to make a difference in both his own life and the lives of others within the community.”