Last night officially marked the end of an amazing 12 months as I passed my crown over to the much deserved Pippa from Southco Ltd. Once again Worcestershire Apprenticeships and all those involved threw an incredible night to celebrate the talent in our county. Since meeting the team last year, I saw first hand across schools, potential apprentices, apprentices and employers, the huge passion and belief in the scheme and I could not feel any prouder for being a part of it. It honestly makes me so proud to have grown up in Worcestershire and had the opportunities to work with such brilliant individuals, it now only seems fair to mention those people..
Firstly, a MASSIVE shout out to all at TDM Wyre Academy whom I started my journey with. Anne Pilsworth acting as my fairy godmother from the very start. As Anne and my employer would recall (and continue to remind me!), I wasn’t completely convinced I’d made the right decision on my first day of enrollment. Anne was the one who told me to stick with it and I thank god I listened to her! Thank you to Tabi for being a supportive mentor through my Level 3 whilst I was with TDM. Congratulations to Derrin and the team for being shortlisted last night, not surprising!
Next, there are people who have looked after me since I was crowned last year. Helena Baxter is honestly one of the most humble people I have met and has given so much to so many people. Having spent some time with her whilst on a school visit, she really does fly the flag for apprenticeships and she is someone I would aspire to be. Jennie Leeson for helping me every step of the way! Nothing has ever been too much trouble and she has been my go-to for anything and everything. I’m sorry for the constant back and forth emails Jennie but it’s only because I want to talk to you!
Now… A special thank you to my main man, Matt Tope. I adore you! I could not have asked for a better guy to have guided me through this experience and if he thought he was getting rid of me, he thought wrong! For those who don’t know, I can be quite shy and Matt through all the different videos, interviews etc, has kept me calm and cool for the cameras. I am almost a pro now! Matt has been another catalyst to me gaining confidence and has enabled me to do the things that I have done. Although I was never given the tiara I requested from Matt 12 months ago, I can let him off because he has given me so much more and I could not thank you enough. I still haven’t forgiven you for filming my parents and not warning me mind!
My parents. 3 years ago they weren’t completely sold on the apprenticeship scheme but now, due to my successes, they are completely on board. They have almost become apprenticeship ambassadors themselves! Since leaving university without a degree, I felt insecure and uncertain about my future and my parents were always there to support whatever decision I made. I wanted my apprenticeship to not only work for me but to make them proud, something which hits a massive nerve for me. For those in attendance last night, you would have seen the video of my parents and I could not hold back the tears. I could not have done this without them.
Whilst my title is handed over, my work here is certainly not done. My apprenticeship has given me so much, especially over the last 12 months. It therefore only seems like my duty to help others and give back to a scheme that has been so rewarding to me.
So that’s it. Good luck to Pippa, I’m sure you’ll smash it! If your next 12 months are anything like my title reign, you’re in good hands and it is just the start of a completely new chapter to your career.
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Higher Apprentice and Worcestershire Apprentice of the Year 2015
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