A graduation ceremony is a chance to celebrate success, cheer on the achievements of others and bring people together. But long gone are the days when these majestic celebrations are just for University students. Apprentices are now donning their own caps and gowns as employees at United Response recently found out.
Who are United Response?
United Response are a charity providing a range of support services for adults and young people with learning disabilities, autism, mental health needs or physical disabilities. The charity utilises the apprenticeship levy in order to upskill and develop their employees, which includes offering employees the chance to undertake apprenticeships. The courses are delivered by leading apprenticeship and training provider, Interserve Learning & Employment and offers learners the chance to gain valuable qualifications and get relevant experience within the industry.
Earlier this year, 15 employees successfully passed their apprenticeships and went on to obtain their Level 2 and 3 Health & Social Care and Level 5 Leadership and Management in Care qualifications. United Response, working closely with Interserve Learning & Employment wanted to take the chance to celebrate their work and mark the occasion.
A graduation event was planned at The Racing Centre in Newmarket, Suffolk and was attended by the apprentices, alongside their families and friends. Also in attendance was Tim Cooper, CEO of United Response and Karen Andrew, Locality Manager for Skills for Care. The awards were presented by Senior Training & Development Officer, Sandra Augusti from Interserve Learning & Employment.
Hear from the attendees . . .
Lorraine Woor, Apprentice, United Response
“I have now completed my Level 5 Leadership and Management in Care apprenticeship with Sandra Augusti.
“I have always had to work extra hard at my written skills and my learning. I left school with no qualifications and have worked my way up in the care sector and at United Response for the last 21 years, going from senior support worker to team leader and now a service manager.
“I had ten months to complete the apprenticeship and at times, I have said ‘enough is enough’ and ‘I can’t do this’, but Sandra has always been there to support me. Sandra has just been amazing! She has the patience of a saint, she understands the pressure of working alongside studying, and she has always been at the end of the phone for me. I just can’t thank her enough!”
Lisa O’Connor, Apprentice, United Response
“I would like to say a huge thank you to Interserve Learning & Employment for giving me the opportunity to complete my Level 2 Health & Social Care apprenticeship. The teaching and support that I have received from Sandra has been outstanding. I am so grateful for her help and support throughout.
“This time last year I would have never thought that I would have the confidence to go for a promotion, but this apprenticeship gave me the confidence I needed to become a lead support worker. The course has helped me so much in work and outside of work. My knowledge and the desire to learn even more has grown and I am looking forward to completing my level 3 qualification soon!
The course has helped me to improve my time management skills, along with so much more. I have learned to break each task into little bits so that I do not get overwhelmed. Even fellow members of staff along with my family and friends have commented that I seem more relaxed and confident. So thank you so much again for giving me the opportunity to do this course. I feel like a new and improved Lisa with the determination to go further in my career.”
Denise Belfield, Quality Assurance Business Partner, Interserve Learning & Employment
“I wanted to share what a fantastic day I had at the United Response graduation celebration in Newmarket. It was really good to take a step back and see the fantastic work we do.
“All of the graduates commented and provided excellent feedback on the development and support they had received from their training and development officers. The graduation ceremony was an outstanding example of how Interserve employees really do bring to life our core values, namely take pride in what we do and bring better to life.”
If this story has inspired you to pursue a career in Health & Social Care, learn more and apply here.