DCH apprentice wins big after overcoming homelessness

A Cornishman who was homeless has turned his life around and is now celebrating national recognition for his inspirational efforts as a housing apprentice.

Ross Jasper, from Penzance, was a resident at Devon and Cornwall Housing’s (DCH) Coach House Foyer in Cornwall, which provides accommodation and independent living support to young homeless people.

Jasper went on to grasp every opportunity he was given by the housing provider, including the help and encouragement to apply for an apprenticeship with DCH.

Jasper’s hard work has gained him a Nationally Highly Commended title for the Unilever Award for Intermediate Apprentice of the Year Award at this year’s National Apprenticeship Awards, after being crowned winner at the South West Regional Apprenticeship Awards.

“I was incredibly shocked, extremely nervous, but also excited and proud of the achievements,” commented Jasper.

“To be honest, without sounding cliché, it’s literally all down to DCH and my training provider, the Centre of Housing and Support (CHS), that I was in a position to gain these awards.”

With the encouragement from DCH, Jasper turned his life around, and now uses his understanding about the stresses of looking for somewhere to live to help other people in his role as a trainee housing coordinator at DCH.

“After all the support DCH gave me to help me with having my own home and gaining confidence and self-esteem, I was encouraged to apply for an apprenticeship with them,” he continued.

“I have loved every minute of my challenging roles and was so happy to win the South West Regional Award and go onto gain the Nationally Highly Commended Award, it feels amazing.”

Jasper added that it proved how fantastic DCH apprenticeships are.

“They really are a great way of launching your career and am loving being part of the neighbourhood team,” he said.

“Who knows where it will take me next but my life has changed so much and it feels great.”

Jasper successfully completed his Level 2 Apprenticeship in Housing Practice and will complete the Advanced Level 3 Apprenticeship in Business and Administration in March with the CHS.

Jacklyn Williams, programmes manager at CHS, said: “Ross is always an absolute pleasure to work with.”

“His dedication and hard work has driven him to complete his Level 2 apprenticeship, soon to finish his Level 3 apprenticeship and has already signed-up to our Level 4 Senior Housing/Property Management Apprenticeship. Ross’s recent wins are a true testament to him.”

Suzanne Hourahine, people development manager at DCH, said: “Ross has become a valued apprentice and has quickly learned a lot from his colleagues.”

“He’s got a fantastic reputation through hard work, commitment and integrity in all that he does, both of these awards are very well deserved.”

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