Corporate Information

Countess celebrates outstanding apprentices

Apprentices at the Countess of Chester Hospital took to the stage to celebrate their achievements during National Apprenticeship Week.


The Countess, in partnership with Wirral Metropolitan College, has been offering apprenticeships in a variety of roles – such as appointments clerks, maintenance assistants, healthcare assistants, therapy assistants, purchasing assistants, administrators and many more – since 2014.

With National Apprenticeships Week highlighting how people can take an alternative route into a great career, the hospital took the opportunity to celebrate their achievements with its first ever apprentice awards.

“It’s been amazing to see the growing impact of apprentices at the Countess in recent years,” Widening participation lead Molly Whelan said. “We now have around 48 apprentices in a wide variety of roles and it was great to get the chance to thank all of them for their hard work and shine a light on their achievements.”

Every apprentice at the hospital gets training on the job, earning while they learn, with support from colleagues and tutors as they work towards nationally recognised qualifications.

Director of Nursing and Quality Alison Kelly handed out several certificates and the winners, who also received outstanding achievements pins, left an impression on her.

“Meeting our apprentices who are taking such positive strides at the start of their careers in the NHS was a real feel-good moment for me,” Alison said. “We are very proud of both their achievements and our role in helping them to develop.”

Here are the award winners talking about what being an apprentice means to them:

Adele Brown

  • Apprentice of the year - Receptionist Adele Brown, 22, (pictured above right) said: “If you are a people person this is the place for you. When you go home at the end of the day knowing you’ve helped someone it’s a great feeling.”
  • Support services apprentice of the year – Purchasing assistant Ryan Wardle, 19, said: “I think I’m the first one out of my friends to be in a secure job with a good career path in front of me in Procurement. The training you get with the NHS is always thorough so I’d recommend going for an apprenticeship if one is available.” 
  • Admin apprentice of the year –  Learning and development administrator Demi Jackson, 22, said: “Initially I got taken on as an apprentice. I was mainly on the reception area but within four weeks I got taken on as an administrator.” 
  • Commitment to learning winner – Administration and clerical apprentice Luke Brown, 18, said: “I applied online through NHS Jobs. Since starting this apprenticeship I have also started working on reception in A&E on the bank and that’s opened up a lot of doors for me.”
  • Commitment to learning winner – Estates assistant Michael Woodiwiss, 30, said: “It has been really enjoyable. College has been really good. I’ve been able to cover hands on stuff both in work and at college. On the theory side they’ve gone into things into much greater detail than I thought they would.”

There was also a special award for an apprentice champion – a member of staff who has gone over and above to help apprentices fulfil their potential at the Countess. Receptionist coordinator Hayley Carey, described as a “supportive soul”, was a popular winner of this award.

Hayley Carey

When asked why she loves working with apprentices, she said: “For me the best thing about employing an apprentice is to see the person develop into a confident individual that is a credit to the Countess and the NHS.”

:: An apprenticeship at The Countess is an exciting opportunity for you to gain training and experience to enhance your skills and expand your career opportunities in an organisation that strives to make staff and the community it serves proud. The Hospital believes strongly in supporting staff to develop in order to provide high quality care and to fulfil their own potential and is passionate about the future of apprenticeships.  

:: If you would like to know more about our apprenticeship opportunities at The Countess please contact our Learning and Development team on 01244 363438 or visit: /working-with-us/apprenticeships.aspx