Team members from East Devon District Council’s Housing Service welcome new recruit Cornelia Coker: (from left to right): Michelle Squire (Housing Repairs Advisor), Cornelia Coker (Housing Advisor – Rentals), Zoe Cozens (Estate Management Officer), Amy Gilbert (Property and Asset Manager)

Investing in young professional talent is part of council’s ongoing commitment to customer service excellence

An exceptional 21-year old Devon graduate, with a Blake Morgan award-winning degree in housing, has been appointed as Housing Advisor in the Rentals team by East Devon District Council

Cornelia Coker, who comes from Exeter, credits her Supported Housing degree and award success to the eight-week work placement she undertook at the council as part of her BSc studies at Cardiff Metropolitan University. As a result of her placement, which involved working in all the council’s housing services - Estate Management, Repairs and Maintenance, Home Safeguard, and Rentals - Cornelia decided to base her dissertation on an East Devon run regeneration project in Honiton.

Cornelia’s resulting work – ‘The community impact of regeneration on a small scale housing block in Honiton, East Devon’ – achieved the highest score for a dissertation in her year and gained her a 2:1. Her 400-hour placement with the council’s housing department, where she exceeded expectations on a range of housing management and supported housing activities, won her the Blake Morgan Award for Graduate Employability in Housing, meaning she was as the student most likely to be employed.

Amy Gilbert, Property and Asset Manager for East Devon District Council said:

Cornelia performed outstandingly in all the teams she worked for and we are delighted that she has accepted a permanent role in our Rentals service. With her dedicated housing degree, enthusiasm and willing attitude she will be a great asset to the council.

Cornelia Coker said:

I thoroughly enjoyed my work placement with the different Housing teams and I am very excited to be joining East Devon.

Councillor Jill Elson, Portfolio for Sustainable Homes and Communities said:

With the housing issues that we are currently facing and increasingly constrained budgets, it is vital that we invest in people with dedicated skills and relevant sector knowledge in order that we can continue to deliver quality housing solutions. Our housing teams are outstanding in terms of their commitment and expertise. As Chairman of Governors of Exmouth Community College – one of the largest community colleges in the UK - I am particularly delighted that a graduate of Cornelia’s calibre will be joining them.