City of Wolverhampton Council’s James Foster is celebrating after receiving a national Heat Heroes Award. The Private Sector Housing Customer Services Apprentice from Bilston was one of just 15 winners selected from a list of over 60 by a panel of judges from National Energy Action (NEA) and ScottishPower. The Heat Heroes Awards aim to recognise individuals who have gone ‘above and beyond’ to help people living in fuel poverty in their local community.  This can be through work or through voluntary activities outside of the workplace. 

The judges felt James has achieved a lot at just 18 years old and were impressed by his caring and helpful attitude. He will be presented with his award at a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday, September 7. Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, added: “James goes from strength to strength in his role at the council. “He clearly has the human touch with the public and he fully deserves this award. James is a shining example of what can be achieved through apprenticeships and he has clearly become a valued member of his team.”

Chris Hale, Head of Housing, added: “During his time at the council James has blossomed into a confident and capable officer. “His communication and social skills have developed superbly, enabling him to provide excellent service to vulnerable clients including the elderly, those with serious health problems, the very young, and people with intellectual and other development disabilities.”

It is not the first time James has been recognised for his work, having been shortlisted for the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Apprentice of the Year award in the Midland Area, in October. He is well on his way to completing his NVQ level 3 in Customer Services having already got the level 2 qualification under his belt. In the field, he has taken the lead on a number of projects, including the use of IDOX software, a landlords’ blog and IT issues.