Natasha named CIH student of the year
Natasha Williams, former care assistant and part-time housing advice worker, has received the prestigious Student of the Year Award from the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).
Natasha, who started as a volunteer housing assistant in 2006 while studying full-time for a housing qualification, has a keen interest in social housing issues and tackling poverty. Natasha has now taken her ambition to new heights; following her success at undergraduate degree level, where she was awarded a prize for best dissertation of the academic year. She is now studying full-time for a masters degree in planning and sustainability at Kingston University.
CIH recognises one student each year who has achieved outstanding success despite having to face real challenges in their lives at the time of their study. Natasha kick started her career in housing by taking on work in housing advice alongside her full-time course and continued to work throughout her three years’ study. But she also combined her studies with being a single mum and, despite having to move to London part way through, she completed her course by commuting long distances every week to study.
Natasha decided to re-enter higher education to specialise in sustainability and housing development in September 2009.
Natasha said: "I wanted to develop a career that would contribute to making better places for people to live, and tackle some of the stigmas around social housing. I decided to specialise in the housing development field as it is one important way to improve the lives of vulnerable people."
She added: "I am delighted to receive this wonderful prize."
CIH President Howard Farrand congratulated Natasha as she received a medal and a cheque for £200 at the CIH Presidential Dinner at the Natural History Museum in London on 10 February.
The photo shows : Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, Natasha Williams, CIH Student of the Year and Howard Farrand, CIH President.