AN 18-year-old youth worker has bagged the Mansfield nomination for the first Nottinghamshire Outstanding Achievement 4Uth Awards.
Josh Renshaw, from Mansfield Woodhouse, was at the forefront of the £6.5m myplace Westfield Folkhouse Young People’s Centre in Mansfield.
And he was nominated for a 4Uth award by Folkhouse youth worker Jane Penistone, who has known Josh since he was 15 and first started attending Manor Youth Club.
Jane said: “I couldn’t be happier for him. If anyone deserves this accolade, then it’s Josh.
“He’s worked tirelessly over the last couple of years as both a community volunteer and as a real force behind turning the plans for the myplace Folkhouse into a reality.
“Throughout the whole process, he’s worked tremendously hard without any complaints, turning up diligently and setting an example for all of us.”
The 4Uth Awards is a Nottinghamshire County Council initiative which aims to celebrate the achievements of young people in the area.
Josh has recently secured a job as a youth worker after undertaking the council’s senior member training programme and is a senior volunteer at the Folkhouse.
He has also taken the lead in the Two Left Feet young people’s walking group and ‘acted beyond his years’ by overcoming language difficulties on an overseas visit to the Pyrenees.
Jane said: “Josh has most recently helped with the new £6.5m myplace Folkhouse - everything from being part of the management committee, assisting with sourcing new fixtures and fittings for the centres and helping to set up the new sound system, right down to the opening ceremonies.
“It’s great to see him fulfilling his potential.
“There’s no doubt that Josh is an exceptional young man who takes everything in his stride.
“When I asked him why he does everything he does, his answer was simple: because he wants to help others and he can.”
Josh has now enrolled with the Prince’s Trust as a volunteer and the support he’s given has been vital to the young people involved with the organisation in the Mansfield area.
Josh said this week: “I was pretty shocked when I heard I’d been named the district winner for the awards, but obviously very happy as well.
“And securing a paid part-time position with the county council youth service has been fantastic as this is definitely what I want to do as a career.
“I’ve been part of the service since I was 14 and it’s given me access to lots of activities I wouldn’t otherwise have got involved with. I can now provide the same opportunities for others.”
County Hall received a total of 57 nominations across Nottinghamshire, and the district champions will go through to a county-wide final with a chance to win £250 in vouchers.
The winner will be announced at an event on 30th September.