an Eastwood teenager involved in the development of the town’s new youth centre has been nominated for a new award.
Gareth Painter, 19, was homeless two years ago but, having turned his life around, is now celebrating after being nominated for a Nottinghamshire Outstanding Achievement 4Uth Award.
As a leading figure on the steering group for the youth club, Gareth played a key role in helping to raise awareness of the benefits that the centre on Derby Road will have on the town.
He also spoke at public meetings where he was challenged by local residents who had concerns, and he helped rally support to form the centre’s management committee.
Gareth said: “Eastwood has a high level of crime and much of it is caused by young people who are bored and have nothing to do.
“This new youth centre will give young people somewhere to hang out and will keep them off of the streets.
“I have had so much support from the Youth Service over the years and becoming a volunteer youth worker is my way of giving something back by helping other young people.”
Gareth was nominated by his council youth worker Andy Allsopp who has known him since he was 13.
Andy said: “Gaz has been instrumental in getting the youth centre off the ground. His passion for the creation of the new centre knows no bounds.”
Trained youth worker Gareth, who has just got a job as a mechanic, is also a member of Nottinghamshire Young People’s Board and Nottinghamshire Young Homeless Forum.
Andy described him as a ‘level-headed young man’.
“Gaz is a very worthy nomination for this award because he is a fantastic role model to other young people and dedicates much of his spare time for the benefit of others,” he added.
The 4Uth Award is a Nottinghamshire County Council initiative which aims to celebrate the achievements of young people across the county.
The winner, announced in September will receive £250 in vouchers.
To nominate or for more information, visit www.nottszone.org.uk or contact Sue Andrew at the council on 0115 977 4446.