Amy Tomkins, who studies at Furness College, has been shortlisted in the South Cumbria and Lancashire NHS Apprenticeship Awards in the category of Perseverance.

Furness College apprentice shortlisted for regional award

A Furness College apprentice says she is ‘over the moon’ after being nominated for a prestigious award.

Amy Tomkins, who studies at the Channelside campus, has been shortlisted in the South Cumbria and Lancashire NHS Apprenticeship Awards in the category of Perseverance.

She was nominated for her commitment and going above and beyond in her work including mastering Makaton sign language, which is a language programme that uses signs together with speech and symbols. This enables her to communicate better with some of the adults with learning and physical disabilities at Mill Lane Day Opportunities where she works.

The 19-year-old said she was delighted to find out she was in the running for an award.

“I am over the moon I have been shortlisted and I am also shocked as I didn’t expect this to happen to me. My mum and my grandad are so proud of me for this too.”

Amy combines the classroom element of her Level 2 Health & Social Care apprenticeship at college with working for her at the day centre, based on Walney, providing activities as well as care and support to adults of all ages.

Her role at the centre involves supporting adults in therapeutic activities through light rooms and soft play areas, jacuzzi baths and other equipment to improve mobility. Staff also teach skills such as meal preparation and cooking, offer craft and woodwork and gardening, attend sports groups such as Barrow Rugby’s Able Raiders, fundraise for various charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support and Children in Need.

Amy was taken on by Mill Lane to work with a range of different people from dementia to learning difficulties as well as people with autism and behavioural needs.

Angus Bates, her supervisor at Mill Lane Day Centre who supported her nomination for the award, said she was progressing brilliantly and had quickly become a valued member of the team.

“I am so pleased we have received such a high-calibre student from Furness College,” he said. “It is fantastic how someone so young has such a great attitude and willingness to learn the apprenticeship programme is really excellent. People’s lives are being made significantly better with Amy being in the workforce.”

“Amy has a genuine interest in learning, a fantastic sense of humour and she is able to engage with all service users in a supportive way and it really reflects on the people around her.”

Amy’s tutor at Furness College Lynne McCracken said she was a joy to teach.

“She sets the example for other students with her work-rate and has an insatiable desire to learn. She proactively engages with different members of the organisation at every level from top to bottom and knows the care plans in place for each service user. Amy is a really motivated student and her enthusiasm often reflects to her fellow peers.”

Amy was shortlisted by an expert panel of judges from 300 nominations across 11 categories. Nominees included apprentices from social care, primary care, local authorities, North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and hospital trusts.

The winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony tomorrow night (Friday 17 June) in Blackburn.

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