Congratulations to one of the December Gold WOW award winners, Jodie Atkins, a housing support worker in Essex.

The WOW! Awards are the UK’s only national awards that recognise excellent customer service based purely on customer and colleague nominations.

Jodie was nominated by her manager Dan Gent, team leader for the Essex Young People’s service, in recognition of the work that she has undertaken in supporting the young people at Bernard Brett House.

Dan explains the dedication that Jodie has shown in her work:

I think it takes a special kind of enthusiasm and commitment to really drive tenant involvement in a scheme. Fortunately for the 24 young people we support at Bernard Brett House, Jodie has it in abundance. After months of planning and fundraising, Jodie took 15 young people on a trip to London. The day included ice skating at the Natural History Museum, the museum itself, a meal out, visiting Harrods and seeing some of the sights. What’s impressive is that Jodie supported the young people to fundraise the trip themselves.

To begin with Jodie arranged for the scheme to become the chosen cause for Colchester United for one match. This involved setting up a stand and offering face painting to home and away fans at a recent Colchester v. Cambridge game with all the money raised going to support the scheme and the trip they were planning.

There was also weeks and months of sourcing other donations and opportunities to raise funds. The young people have really bought in to the planning and forming of focus groups. They got to do something fun at the end but have learnt an awful lot along the way about organisation, liaising with other agencies/organisations, team work and confidence building. Jodie has gone above and beyond to ensure the tenants see this project through, giving up her own time and often contributing towards the project when she’s outside of work. All of this has been achieved on top of her day to day work where she is an incredibly conscientious committed Support Worker managing a very busy case load.

As her manager, I feel very lucky as such loyalty and dedication is a credit to our service. This nomination can only be a small recognition to the hard work Jodie has put in ensuring our tenants stay engaged with our service which ultimately sees positive outcomes in terms of gaining employment & education, and moving on positively from supported housing.

I think the Gold star is  still only  a small recognition of the tireless work she puts into making our schemes Social Services’ preferred provision for the North of Essex. I meet with Essex Social Services managers on a monthly basis where I have had fantastic feedback in regard to the support Jodie delivers to their looked after young people and care leavers.

Congratulations to Jodie, another great example of a Gold Wow award winner!