University of Leicester student reaches the final of national housing award

Posted by er134 at Sep 19, 2014 10:56 AM |
Jo Miller reaches the final five of prestigious ‘Young Leader’ accolade after thriving project engages two housing associations and over 60 volunteers

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 19 September 2014

A Daventry & District Housing (DDH) employee studying at the University of Leicester has recently reached the final of a prestigious national housing award. Jo Miller, who is the DDH’s Volunteer Coordinator, has made the final five in the 24housing Young Leader Award after fighting off strong competition.

Jo, who is 25 and lives in Leicester, has been working for DDH since 2009. She also works for Market Harborough-based Seven Locks Housing and is currently studying a long distance Managing Volunteering and Community Organisation degree at University of Leicester.

Jo was previously selected as one of 20 shortlisted candidates after almost 100 entries were collected by the renowned magazine. Then, following the result of an online vote that polled over 8,000 responses in just two weeks, Jo was named as one of 10 semi-finalists.

This saw her participate in a roundtable debate at the National Housing Federation’s head office in London on 17 July. The theme of the debate was the Housing Crisis and Jo produced an infographic detailing a concept that proposed the empowerment of volunteers as a way of tackling the crisis.

Jo also took part in the grand final at the National Housing Federation’s annual conference in Birmingham on Thursday 18 September, and the overall winner will be named at the Young Leaders Experience Conference in Warwick on 8 October.

Throughout her time with DDH, which is part of the Futures Housing Group, Jo has led projects and people by creating and implementing the IMPACT volunteering programme.

This has involved recruiting, managing and developing volunteers and volunteer-led projects across the Daventry and Harborough Districts, resulting in more than 1,800 hours of voluntary work being completed.

Malcolm Flaherty, Course Director at the University of Leicester, said: “Joanne Miller is a student on the Foundation degree in Managing Voluntary and Community Organisations here at the University of Leicester. The course is designed to enhance students’ workplace skills.”

DDH Executive Director, Hayley Davies, said: “Joanne recently completed a Work based Learning module for her course. This is a major piece of work. She based it around the project that she has been nominated for. Not only did she produce an outstanding assignment for the University but she clearly achieved a very valuable project for her organisation, the group of volunteers and the community. She is to be congratulated for all her hard work and I hope she is successful for the final.”

“We are indebted to Jo for her enthusiasm, passion and dedication which make a real difference to individual lives and the success of DDH,” explained

“Volunteering is a fundamental and rewarding part of the work we do. It enriches the career prospects of volunteers, creates better environments within our communities, supports the local economy and helps improve the health and wellbeing of many of our tenants.

“Jo’s ability to inspire and collaborate with people on all levels has meant that within a year she has created a thriving volunteer project that engages two housing associations and over 60 volunteers.

“Everybody at DDH is very proud of Jo for reaching the final and we are fully supporting her as she bids to become the 2014 Young Leader of the Year.”

Deborah Floody, Customer Relations Manager at Seven Locks Housing, added: “The success of our ‘Unlocking Potential’ volunteer projects would not have been possible without Jo. Her enthusiasm for the role is palpable. She is able to identify volunteering opportunities that bring added value to our service and our communities.

“The dedicated support Jo provides to the volunteers ensures that they grow their skills and confidence, and that Seven Locks customers reap the benefits of services that we would be unable to offer without them and Jo.”

Editor’s Notes

Please find attached a hi-res photograph of Jo Miller.

Launched in 2007, Daventry & District Housing owns and manages around 3,100 homes in Daventry and district. Its five-year, £43m major improvement programme is raising the standard of affordable housing across the district. Daventry & District Housing is committed to involving tenants in the decisions affecting their homes and communities. The housing association is a member of the Futures Housing Group.

Futures Housing Group is a forward-thinking social business providing homes and neighbourhood services across the Midlands. This regional organisation comprises four companies including Futures Homescape and Daventry & District Housing. Currently, the group manages 8,600 homes in Derbyshire and Northamptonshire.

To contact Jo Miller or for more information about Daventry & District Housing please contact Jon Reeves via or visit

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