Apprenticeships put hospice on map with award
EAST Cheshire Hospice’s role in helping develop the next generation of staff has been recognised with a prestigious award.
The hospice was highly commended in the new Apprenticeship Awards category at the High Sheriff of Cheshire Enterprise Awards in Chester.
Five apprentices are currently completing their apprenticeship training at the charity, as part of its commitment to encourage new talent in the health and social care sector.
Jodie Challinor and Katy Dewar are apprentice healthcare assistants, aiming to become fully qualified nurses via the hospice’s vocational training programme. Jade Slater (kitchen), Kelly Wood (admin) and Thomas Williams (ICT) are also part of the government-funded scheme.
Alicia Whittaker, education and development co-ordinator at the hospice, said: “We believe passionately in engaging with young people in the community and creating opportunities for them to start their careers.
“We’re delighted to receive this award which recognises our role helping build a workforce fit for the future. There’s an acute shortage of nursing skills across the country and this scheme is helping in a small way to plug that gap.
“We’re providing a pathway to nursing for young people with a passion for care who’ve never had experience of working in the care environment before.
“It’d take them three years to gain a degree at university, and although it takes a year longer to gain that equivalent qualification through the vocational route, at the same time they’re gaining vital clinical experience working alongside highly-skilled colleagues in a modern hospice environment.”
High Sheriff of Cheshire, Kathy Cowell OBE DL, said: “It was a delight to host these business awards and to see the range of companies which entered from across the county.
“The companies showed clear recurring themes – such as standards, quality, total focus on the customer and passion – and it was lovely to celebrate these businesses.”
From left: Learning and development co-ordinator Alicia Whittaker, apprentices Jodie Challinor, Kelly Wood and Katy Dewar, and clinical operations director Helen Knight with the award