Published: 00:01, 14 September 2013
A mother of two has been nominated for an award for her work to bring a smile to the faces of others.
Genny Jones, 51, of St Mark’s Avenue, Northfleet, was put forward for her community workshops, inspiring others to be happy when they are feeling depressed.
The self proclaimed Confidence Queen runs her Happiness Project around Gravesend, with former venues including the Riverside Centre in Dickens Road and Gravesham Community Hospital in Bath Street.
She also runs Confident Children, a workshop that helps youngsters deal with peer pressure and encourages them to feel self-assured both at school and at home.
Now Ms Jones has been nominated for a Pride of Britain Award, which celebrates exceptional people who dedicate themselves to making a positive difference for others. The ceremony is shown on ITV with millions of viewers tuning in each year.
She was put forward by former student Ayhan Koya, who she taught in a book keeping class at the One Love Centre, Stratford, London.
Mr Koya has remained friends with Ms Jones ever since and felt her dedication to the community deserved recognition.
Ms Jones said: “When they told me who nominated me, I was quite chuffed because I thought it’s not just for me it’s for everyone else who makes my work happen.”
Ms Jones, who also works as an accountant two days a weeks, said: “I grew up in Sierra Leone and my parents and family members always had this thing that even if you were poor, you still supported others. There was a big sense of community.
“I always say it’s my contribution to society. When I was depressed and down, people helped me, so now I want to help and contribute in my own special way.”
She is up against three other people in the Unsung Local Hero category for the ITV Meridian region.
She added: “There are so many amazing people out there sacrificing their time and energy just to make a difference. It overwhelmed me.”