Jack Bennett, 17, Deirdre Ryan and Victoria Robinson (EDDC Community Development workers), Chris Pritchard, 17

Axminster’s Jack Bennett reaches regional finals of prestigious Tpas 2017 awards

Jack Bennett, a young person from East Devon District Council’s SWITCH club on the Millwey Rise Estate in Axminster, had his outstanding service to sport in the community rewarded by a place at the regional final of the prestigious Tpas awards 2017, which was held at a ceremony in London on 3 February.

Finalist  Jack, aged 17, made the shortlist for the young tenant of the year category at the finals having been nominated for the award by Victoria Robinson, East Devon Community Development worker and lead worker of the Millwey SWITCH club. She was determined that Jack should receive acknowledgement for his work in the Axe Valley community, at SWITCH and at Millwey Rise football club.

Commenting on the trip to London to attend the finals, Victoria said:

Although Jack didn’t win the young tenant award, it was great to see his commitment to sport in his community recognised, not just by the community, but on a wider scale. Jack has been coming to my club since we started and it has been lovely to see him develop his leadership skills and his sense of community spirit.

I would like to thank the sports team at Axe Valley Community College and the coach, Dan Murnane from Millwey Rise FC for their help in putting the nomination together.

Councillor Jill Elson, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for sustainable homes and communities, said:

It’s a tremendous achievement to be shortlisted for the Tpas Awards and Jack made it through to the regional final over hundreds of other entries from all around the South of England. We are all so proud of him and as far as we are concerned, even though Jack didn’t win the award, he is already a community superstar and a winner to those that know him.

Councillor Ian Hall, ward member for Axminster Rural, said:

I have had the pleasure of knowing Jack for around ten years. He is kind/thoughtful/sincere/hard working and always helpful to all.

I am so pleased that Jack is being recognised for his efforts in the community – this nomination is well deserved, particularly as he always puts others before himself. Jack is a shining example to all that know him and I know from talking to his peers that the youth football coaching he does for his beloved Millwey Rise FC is very much valued.

I look at Jack as a natural leader and although on this occasion Jack wasn’t a winner,  as far as I am concerned, Jack, you are already a young community champion.