A Birmingham woman has been named as one of the country’s top housing professionals in a list designed to celebrate those who have made a difference in the sector.

Connie Jennings, Social Inclusion Manager at leading Midland’s landlord whg, has been selected for 24Housing’s 40 over 40 list.

This list aims to highlight those who deserve recognition for their length of service and continued hard work in the industry.

Connie, who has been working in housing for more than 30 years, grew up in a council house in Birmingham. Her first hand experience of life in social housing has shaped her approach to her job, and her commitment to ensuring customers feel engaged and empowered.

Connie joined whg 13 years ago to help families from a deprived community have their input into plans for a multi-million pound regeneration of the area. She recruited customers from the estate, employing them as community experts who would go out and speak to others in their neighbourhood. The idea took off and more than a decade later whg has employed 100 community champions to be the voice of their communities, with many gaining qualifications, moving on to university and climbing the career ladder.

Connie, who is a Social Inclusion Manager, said: “I was really surprised to hear that I had been nominated as I don’t see what I do as anything  special - in fact I see myself as privileged to be able to undertake this role which enables me to work with whg customers and their families.”

Gary Fulford, whg's Group Chief Executive, said: “whg is full of talented people who are working hard to improve the lives of families across the region.

“Connie is exceptional in that she really does live and breathe housing. From installing a storage bin in her driveway for neighbours to drop off donations for customers, to setting up a hamper project to support those most in need, work is never far from her mind and she is thoroughly deserving of this nomination.”