Daventry teenager shortlisted for award

Kate Jones of DDH, Collette Smith and Sarah Sims, DDH's community development officer
Kate Jones of DDH, Collette Smith and Sarah Sims, DDH's community development officer

A teenager has been recognised for her outstanding voluntary work with a Daventry housing provider.

Collette Smith (better known as CJ) made it to the regional final of the prestigious TPAS (Tenant Participation Advisory Service) Awards in the Young Tenant of the Year category for her work with Daventry & District Housing’s Youth Board.

The 16-year-old has volunteered for Daventry & District Housing for four years and has played a key role in arranging a number of successful events including a trip for families to Whipsnade Zoo and events for the Daventry Arts Festival.

She also played a key role in the Youth Board’s Your Story project in which youngsters engaged elderly people in DDH’s sheltered schemes to create a film about their experiences.

CJ, from Daventry, said: “To make it to the final was fantastic and it is great to be recognised.

“I really enjoy the work I do with the Youth Board because we get to make a genuine difference in people’s lives and shape the perceptions people have of young people.

“Being a volunteer has given me so many skills and experiences I wouldn’t have otherwise had. So not only is the work really fulfilling, it is also great for your CV.”

Sarah Sims, community development officer at Daventry & District Housing, which is part of Futures Housing Group, said: “CJ thoroughly deserves this recognition and to make it onto the shortlist of the TPAS Awards is a major achievement.

“She is a great example of how volunteering can help a young person flourish and develop their skills.

“CJ and her fellow Youth Board members make a huge contribution to the work that we do.”

Daventry & District Housing has vacancies on its Youth Board for young people aged 12 to 17. To find out more contact the community development team on 01327 707 500.