27 March 2017

Well Done Hayleigh Johnson – National Makeup Semi-Finalist

Acacia Training working closely with our sub-contractor Lincolnshire Beauty Therapy & Make-up Academy are proud to announce student Hayleigh Johnson has reached the semi-finals of the prestigious Jane Iredale® National Student Makeup Competition to take place on 3rd-5th April 2017.

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9 March 2017

Star Apprentice: Support worker Chantelle Rotherham

Chantelle Rotherham, age 34 from Hanley, works as a support worker to young people preparing to make the transition from living in a care home to living independently as adults. Her role at Above n Beyond supported accommodation in Newcastle-under-Lyme involves helping to look after two young people, age 16 and 18.

 

Prior to starting work at Above n Beyond over 2 years ago, Chantelle had an extremely varied career history. She started working life as a presenter and behind-the-scenes team member at Signal Radio, before going on to work in interior design and soft furnishings at Inside Right and working as an administrator at a housing association. She has also visited Africa to carry out charity work with Homeless International, ran a youth centre for ethnic minorities and has worked in respite care.

 

Chantelle has just completed an Advanced Apprenticeship in Children’s and Young People’s Workforce with Acacia Training, specialising in residential care. She says: “I’ve had a lot of different jobs in the past but throughout, what I really enjoy is working with children and young people. I find it extremely rewarding to be able to support those who have had such a difficult start in life.”

 

Chantelle’s assessor, Katie Brown of Acacia Training, nominated Chantelle as a Star Apprentice, saying: “Chantelle has excelled on her course and achieved her qualification on target. Chantelle didn’t believe that she would ever be able to achieve anything like this, but she gave 100% dedication and exceeded all expectations.”

 

In turn, Chantelle describes her assessor as “phenomenal – very organised, punctual, encouraging and incredible to work with.” She explains: “I have a little boy who will soon turn five – and combining work with being a parent, running a home and studying this qualification has sometimes been a logistical challenge. Katie has always been there to say ‘You can do it – and made sure that I do.”

 

Above N Beyond manager Jillian Taylor adds: “Chantelle finds it very easy to develop relationships with young people. Apprenticeships provide our staff with vital knowledge and understanding and it is great that the qualification she has studied with Acacia Training has been specific to the work we do with young people leaving care.”

 

Talking about the benefits of Apprenticeships, Jillian says: “Apprenticeships provide a valuable opportunity for our staff to improve their knowledge, motivation and skills and all our young people benefit from that improved knowledge. Apprenticeships bring a level of professionalism to the caring role that enables staff to feel valued, skilled and effective in their work.”

 

Acacia Training provides Apprenticeships, work-based training and short courses for new employees or those already working in the care, childcare and health and social care sectors. Contact us to find out how.

 

New to the sector and looking for an Apprentice role? We are teaming up with HC-One to recruit to a host of new apprenticeship vacancies across the East and West Midlands.

 

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8 March 2017

Star Apprentice Zoey Taylor: Apprenticeship offers ideal career

Zoey Taylor, age 21, is an Apprentice specialising in end of life domiciliary care at AMG Nursing in Chesterfield.

 

When Zoey was growing up, she always wanted to be a vet. However, she opted not to go to university so that she could stay at home and care for her grandmother, who was ill. When her nan passed away two years ago, she says she ‘felt something was missing’ and decided to go into a career in care with AMG Nursing, who cared for Zoey’s grandmother before she passed away.

 

Zoey’s role as a Health and Social Care Apprentice involves caring for patients in their homes. This can range from keeping them company, to making them meals or personal care such as bathing, or washing clothes. Zoe joined AMG Nursing in Chesterfield eighteen months ago, and was enrolled on an Apprenticeships in Health and Social Care with Acacia Training to help formalise her training. Although she previously had a lot of caring experience with her nan, Zoe says that the formal training she has gained on her apprenticeship has helped her to appreciate the strict rules in place to ensure high standards, and become more aware of what is appropriate when caring for others.

Zoey says: “The Apprenticeship has helped me to feel my role as a carer is valuable, skilled and appreciated. I really enjoy what I do. It’s a lot of responsibility…. I performed CPR on a patient for 20 minutes last week until paramedics arrived, it can be very hard. But I honestly wouldn’t do anything else and the Apprenticeship has helped me to feel confident and skilled in what I do.”

 

Jessica Baugh, compliance manager at AMG Nursing agrees. She says: “We have more than 20 staff at any one time undertaking Apprenticeships with Acacia Training. The qualifications improve staff’s confidence in themselves and develop their self-esteem. We have several staff who might not have done any learning since school and didn’t originally achieve English and maths GCSEs. Before they even start their Apprenticeship, they retake their English and maths and this helps them feel motivated to go on and complete the qualification.”

 

She adds: “As an employer, Apprenticeships give us motivated and skilled staff, but they also give us quality assurance that all our team who are caring for people in the community have up-to-date knowledge on things like dementia, manually lifting patients, best practice to ensure our patients’ dignity, and more.”

 

She concludes: “Our carers complete this qualification because they want to work to professional standards and do a good job. They want to progress to become a coordinator or manager and we will help them get there. Apprenticeships are great for people of all ages and all career backgrounds. Our oldest Apprentice is over 50 and previously had a career in sales.”

 

Acacia Training provides Apprenticeships, work-based training and short courses for new employees or those already working in the care, childcare and health and social care sectors. Contact us to find out how.

 

New to the sector and looking for an Apprentice role? We are teaming up with HC-One to recruit to a host of new apprenticeship vacancies across the East and West Midlands.

 

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7 March 2017

Star Apprentice Sarah Brandrick: Sarah’s caring nature

44-year old Sarah Brandrick had worked for a pharmaceutical company as well as volunteering in a school and working as a care assistant, prior to becoming a residential support worker at Hopedale residential special school in Staffordshire.

 

Hopedale combines a residential care home for 7 to 17 year olds with a special school on site. Both facilities are graded outstanding by Ofsted. The setting provides a therapeutic environment for looked after children who suffer from emotional, behavioural, and mental health issues.

 

Sarah’s role as a residential support worker involves works with up to fifty children in a number of different ways. She provides care and nurturing support for the children she looks after, including organising and running activities and clubs, companionship, keywork sessions and supporting contact with family members. Sarah is currently a key worker to a child, which involves taking an active in role in that child’s life just as you would as a parent.

 

Sarah comments: “I grew up in Birmingham, in the middle of the city in a care home. I was adopted by a wonderful family, even though I found it very hard to adapt to. I want to show the children in care that there is light at the end of the tunnel – it’s all about nurturing and caring for them and I find it very personally and professionally rewarding.”

 

Hopedale has regulations in place which mean that all staff must complete a level 3 NVQ. Sarah is completing the Level 3 Apprenticeship in Residential Childcare with Acacia Training, which is an advanced qualification equivalent to A Levels. It combines the NVQ with other important qualifications such as functional skills – English, maths and ICT.

 

Clare Ratcliffe, Manager at Hopedale, explains: “I interviewed Sarah for a job here almost a year ago now. She was really keen to do the qualification and have a career change. She felt strongly that her own life experiences meant that she could contribute to the children that we look after and had the skills needed to work with challenging behaviour. I must say she was absolutely right! She makes an exceptionally positive contribution to the children and young people she works with – they all think she is fabulous and they respond very well to her.”

 

Claire adds: “Many of the children here come from very difficult and upsetting backgrounds. Sarah’s own life experience means she offers a lot of natural insight into the correlation between what the children have been through in the past, and their behaviour and experiences. Her natural empathy combined with the education she has gained as a mature learner completing the Apprenticeship, are the perfect combination.”

 

Sarah’s assessor, Nicki Blasé, of Acacia Training, says: “When Sarah first started her apprenticeship, she hadn’t been in education for a while and she originally lacked confidence in her ability to succeed on the qualification. Initially, she needed a lot of support and reassurance but she is very conscientious and has tackled every task with vigour. She is determined to achieve in her role.”

 

Acacia Training provides Apprenticeships, work-based training and short courses for new employees or those already working in the care, childcare and health and social care sectors. Contact us to find out how.

 

New to the sector and looking for an Apprentice role? We are teaming up with HC-One to recruit to a host of new apprenticeship vacancies across the East and West Midlands.

 

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6 March 2017

Lisa Robinson of Home Instead is our Star Apprentice!

Lisa Robinson, age 44, from Burton on Trent, is proof that apprentices aren’t just for school leavers who are just starting their career.

 

Lisa had worked as a carer for many years before joining Burton-based Home Instead Senior Care and starting her Apprenticeship. She works primarily in a day care centre where she supports elderly clients with dementia. Her role involves providing stimulating activities, care and companionship to ensure that clients have an enjoyable and interesting day. Lisa also works as a domiciliary caregiver for Home Instead visiting her clients in their own homes.

 

Lisa is completing a level 3 Apprenticeship in Health and Social Care with Acacia Training and has been nominated by her assessor for an Apprentice Star award.

 

Home Instead Senior Care owner John Winfieldale commends her approach. He says: “Lisa is very dependable, patient, willing to do anything and accommodating. She will always notice if a client is not engaging in an activity, and she will spend time with them to involve them and make sure they feel part of the group – she’s a good team player. Completing her apprenticeship has been hard at times, but Lisa has worked very hard and shown dogged determination.”

 

Home Instead Burton-on-Trent asks all the company’s employees to complete Apprenticeships. John explains: “Apprenticeships really work for us because we are able to recruit people who have a genuine passion for caring and develop them. Some of our employees have worked in care before, while others previously worked as accountants, shop keepers and metal shop body workers. The Apprenticeships give us that reassurance that our staff members will develop every aspect of their skills and knowledge to a high standard. No matter where else a staff member has worked before, or how long they have worked as a carer, we have a certain standard of competency that we know each staff member will hit in all areas of current health and social care practice. This ensures the highest possible standards of care for our clients.”

He adds: “Apprenticeships also help to ‘professionalise’ the care sector. Many care workers in the UK struggle to feel valued as skilled professionals and take pride in their work. They feel they are not viewed with the same esteem as doctors and nurses, yet they really make a difference in people’s lives. The Apprenticeship programmes help make our staff feel they do a valuable job, with all the underpinning knowledge they develop and the competencies they have to evidence.”

 

Lisa comments: “My apprenticeship has made me feel really motivated and confident of my professional standards. It has helped me reflect and categorise my knowledge.”

 

Congratulations on being today’s Star Apprentice Lisa!

 

Are you already working in the care or childcare sector and interested in completing an Apprenticeship to validate and enhance your existing skills and knowledge, leading to a professional qualification?

 

Acacia Training provides Apprenticeships, work-based training and short courses for new employees or those already working in the care, childcare and health and social care sectors. Contact us to find out how.

 

New to the sector and looking for an Apprentice role? We are teaming up with HC-One to recruit to a host of new apprenticeship vacancies across the East and West Midlands.

More news

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We’ve been named as a Disability Confident Leader again, three years after being one of the first organisations to gain this status.

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Michelle celebrates five years of a rewarding career...

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