A NURSERY assistant has been presented with an award for her hard work.
Jodie Hicks, from the Fellowship of St Nicholas in London Road, St Leonards won the Gold Star Award to mark her achievements in a scheme set up for people to escape the throes of unemployment.
She was given the accolade at a ceremony at the White Rock Theatre to celebrate the success of the Future Jobs Fund scheme, set up two years ago.
Jodie was selected as the best overall employee in the scheme across Hastings and neighbouring Rother.
Other awards were won by Lynton Cole and Clair O’Neill, who both work for the Seaview Project, which helps homeless people.
Judges selected Lynton as the employee who made the best progress, while Claire won the One for All award, for the employee who did the most to help colleagues.
Nino Cruttendon, who works for Autism Sussex, won a special award for his work alongside people with autism at the Café des Arts on Robertson Street.
The £2 million Government-funded Future Jobs Fund programme finishes this month, and has created more than 350 new jobs across East Sussex since 2009, half being for Hastings residents.
The awards ceremony followed a jobs fair organised by Hastings Borough Council and Jobcentre Plus.
More than 750 people came through the theatre’s doors to meet prospective employers looking for new staff.
Councillor Jeremy Birch, council leader, said: “This was an excellent scheme, and I am particularly pleased that the council was able to manage the programme across the whole of East Sussex.
“To create more than 350 new jobs is no mean feat, and I pay tribute to those who took part in the scheme and, indeed, those who made it possible, including, of course, the employers.
“I am only disappointed that the scheme is now coming to an end, as it really has made a huge impact on those who have taken part in it.”