[A]n asthma awareness campaign devised and implemented by a group of apprentices from GSK Ulverston has helped them secure a national award for skills development.
The team of 9 apprentices came out on top to win the national final of the Brathay Apprentice Challenge (#BAC17), held from the Brathay Trust estate on the shores of Lake Windermere.
The centrepiece of their project portfolio has been the ongoing asthma awareness campaign aimed at young people. The campaign, in memory of 11-year-old Josh West from Ulverston, has involved the GSK apprentices delivering presentations to schools, colleges and youth and sports organisations in Cumbria over the last six months.
The grand final held on 13 and 14 June involved a series of separate team events including an adventure challenge and a ‘Whaler’ time trial on the water. The GSK Ulverston apprentices competed against seven other teams from around the country to emerge as the overall winners.
“We dedicate this trophy in memory of Josh West for whom we carried out our asthma awareness campaign project,” says Sam Coulson, 18, a GSK manufacturing apprentice from Ulverston.
“We were all inspired by Josh’s story to do something different and so came up with the idea of an awareness raising campaign to show how asthma affects the daily lives of millions of people in the UK.
“The idea was a good fit for the Brathay Apprentice Challenge. We’re absolutely thrilled that all our hard work has paid off and that we have won the overall title, even more so when the campaign has become a bigger local cause, not only for the group but for many others too.”
The Brathay Apprentice Challenge is the search for the apprentice team of the year, supported by the National Apprenticeship Service. To win the title, teams undertake a community project to benefit young people and a series of exciting and interactive work-related challenges to develop new skills.
The challenges are designed to ensure that the teams demonstrate their team building, leadership, logistical and communications abilities. It also provides them with opportunities to showcase their employer by engaging with young people and businesses to promote the benefits of apprenticeships.
As well as the asthma campaign, the apprentices organised a programme of business breakfasts with local employers, fronting presentations to explain the benefits of apprenticeships and encourage them to take on apprentices.
Terry Sandham, Apprentice Programme Manager at GSK Ulverston, adds: “The group thoroughly deserve their success in becoming the top apprentice team in the UK. They put together an amazing Brathay Apprentice Challenge campaign submission, especially in the closing few weeks when the pressure was really on.
“They could not have worked any harder to achieve what they have done, and to watch their development and how they have and excelled has been a real privilege. It’s a great achievement for all involved to win this top award and we’re delighted that they have been recognised for their efforts.
“Our apprentices make a big impact for GSK Ulverston and our local communities. Our apprenticeship programmes help us to build a diverse workforce and develop talented people to help ensure patients and consumers all over the world have access to our products. It’s why we continue to invest in our apprentices and offer them a challenging and rewarding experience with future career prospects.”
The team of 9 GSK Ulverston apprentices in #BAC17 was: Joe Hambley, Ted Jackson, Owen Rice, Madigan Long, Sam Coulson, Aidan Huddleston, James Turner, Kelly Stokes and Danyelle Haines.