A CHARITY champion who lived out of a suitcase for 15 months running two housing projects for young women has been honoured with a special award.
Nettie Louange, 49, manages Turner House in Pevensey Road, St Leonards, where she supports up to ten vulnerable young women at a time - many of whom have young children - and helps them turn their lives around.
The project is run by the Chapter 1 charity which has similar projects across the country, and when the Southampton home was left without a manager Nettie stepped in to oversee both for more than a year. And her extraordinary efforts were recognised when she was named Chapter 1’s Unsung Hero of the year at an awards ceremony in London.
She said: “When I heard I had been nominated I never thought I was going to win so it was a really nice surprise. The job I do is so rewarding and I absolutely love it but to get this recognition is very nice. It’s for my team as well because without them I would not have been able to stretch myself like this.
“It was a really happy day,” she added.
Now Nettie is back in St Leonards and has high hopes for the year ahead, despite continued uncertainty over Government funding. “We are looking to expand and find more accommodation here but we are still not sure about the cuts - it’s a nervous time.”
Chapter 1 chief executive, Geoff Hawkins added: “These awards recognise the wealth of innovative talent, dedication and commitment within the Chapter 1 family of staff, service users and volunteers. They show how we are changing lives, one by one.”