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Sarah’s Story

Hospitality apprentice Sarah became a double award winner at the 2024 Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards in recognition of her determination and perseverance throughout her journey.

“If you’ve got a chance to be an apprentice then take the opportunity, it doesn’t matter how old you are, believe in yourself and just give it a go. The support network I’ve had around me since I’ve been at the College has been incredible”.

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Name of apprenticeship: Level 3 Hospitality Supervisor

Name of employer: Fistral Beach Hotel

 

My Story

Sarah embraced the challenge of going ‘back to school’ in her forties achieving a fantastic start to her new career as a Hospitality Supervisor, gaining essential English and Maths qualifications alongside her apprenticeship, while implementing cost savings and streamlining operations for her employer, all while overcoming major surgery and personal challenge.

Sarah initially needed to take both her English and Maths Functional Skills qualifications alongside her apprenticeship, and whilst studying for these, was diagnosed with dyslexia. However, Sarah did not let this deter her and worked tirelessly to complete her English and Maths alongside her apprenticeship course.

After attending additional one-to-one support sessions and spending a lot of her own time studying to improve her skills, Sarah successfully passed both her English and Maths, a challenge which at first she never dreamed she would overcome.

Alongside this, Sarah also faced personal struggles throughout her apprenticeship, including navigating family illness and needing to take time out of work for a major surgery.

However, despite everything Sarah had to contend with, she became an invaluable member of the team at Fistral Beach Hotel in Newquay.

Sarah’s employer describes her as “a dedicated member of our restaurant team, constantly positive and always making the needs of our guests her priority”.

Sarah has made a considerable impact on her workplace during her apprenticeship, by helping the department implement cost saving ideas and procedures as well as streamlining operational procedures.

Sarah’s efforts led to her becoming a double award winner at the 2024 Cornwall Apprenticeship Awards scooping Hospitality Apprentice of the Year and Apprentice Achiever of the Year, that recognises learners who have overcome adversity or a personal challenge. Sarah was highlighted on the night as someone who has displayed copious amounts of resilience and determination on her apprenticeship journey.

Sarah commented: “I’ve not been in education for over 30-years and I feel super proud of myself.

“Being nominated alone, for me was a win on its own but to actually win is pretty incredible. A lot of people have called me resilient and determined and tenacious and some words that I’ve never really come across in my life and actually it’s made me realise just how much I can do and what I can achieve and actually I’m really, really proud of myself.

“If you’ve got a chance to be an apprentice then take the opportunity, it doesn’t matter how old you are, believe in yourself and just give it a go. The support network I’ve had around me since I’ve been at the College has been incredible”.

Sarah’s employer added: “On top of the additional undertaking of the English and Maths courses Sarah has also had to face a lot of personal challenges but she has never let this stop her from achieving her goals. The level of effort and attentional to detail she puts into her college assignments is outstanding.

“Sarah’s commitment to excellent guest service is outstanding and she always makes sure she goes above and beyond to provide a personal service to them as well as instilling this belief within her team. Sarah has been so resilient and her determination has been inspirational. I am so proud of her and her achievements.”

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