YMCA Trinity Group

Joshua Gallon as part of his duties as an Apprentice Early Years Assistant was required to work with children whose parents were essential workers during the pandemic. He was part of a small team who provided a safe, nurturing environment for those children – some of whom were not seeing their parents as often as usual due to the long working hours through the height of Covid-19. Joshua was supporting children with their emotional and physical needs by providing high quality, stimulating, fun activities.

During Covid-19 the assistant role changed quite dramatically for Joshua as he was moved to a different site within our Childcare to form part of a small ‘bubble’ of staff and children. Joshua was required to work with children whose parents were keyworkers ie NHS, Care home or retail staff. This meant Joshua had to take on more responsibilities than our apprentices would normally have to, supporting the more experienced staff in offering activities that continued to challenge and excite the children who were attending, whilst also supporting the children’s mental wellbeing at a difficult time. Many of these children were missing time with their parents as they were working long hours in the fight against the disease, and it was important for Joshua to keep the routines as normal as possible for the children.

Joshua worked with his small team of staff to ensure the children were still able to visit our allotment site, something that was so desperately needed for some of the children who attend our sites as they live in the high rise blocks of flats in the town. Many of these do not have access to garden space, and when the local parks were closed this freedom to run and enjoy fresh air was so greatly needed.

Joshua also supported Vulnerable children, including those with Child Protection orders, as they attended our site during this time too. As one of the most deprived towns in the UK, we had quite a few children who needed additional support during this time. Joshua’s calm, fun, committed manner meant the children were happy and excited to be here – and it gave them a release from any other stresses going on in their lives. Due to his close working with the children, Joshua is able to provide a positive, male role model for our children –  something, i feel, is desperately needed in the Early Years sector.


820 Naval Air Squadron, Royal Navy

Callum Gilbert is an Aircraft Engineering Technician (AET) within the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm employed on the Merlin Mk2 aircraft. His responsibilities included the safe conduct of all technical work on the aircraft, flight servicing and component replacements.

A very motivated and enthusiastic individual he volunteered for the NATO Exercise Joint Warrior 20-1 detachment in Scotland however due to the outbreak of COVID 19 the Squadron was reassigned to the OP RESCRIPT Aviation Task Force to support the UK Government’s response to the COVID pandemic.

The tasking required the unit to hold a 24/7 readiness state to transport COVID patients to hospitals around the South West. The workforce working routines were adjusted and smaller teams generated to minimise exposure to the virus. Gilbert adapted to the new working routines effortlessly and the reduced workforce enhanced his opportunity to conduct complicated maintenance tasks within his preference in mechanical trade.

Trialling a new aircraft decontamination procedure post the transportation of a COVID 19 patient, Gilbert provided comprehensive feedback on the most appropriate PPE to improve mobility, whilst retaining safety and achieve a satisfactory cleaning process. His assistance allowed the adaption of the procedure to enable the Squadron to have a workable and safe aircraft decontamination process. The procedure was endorsed across the Merlin Helicopter Force and implemented on a sister Squadron who acquired the role when 820 NAS was reassigned to support HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH’s Operational Sea Training (OST). 

COVID 19 significantly shaped Gilbert’s time on 820NAS, where he grew experience operating with a small workforce whilst maintaining a high readiness state in support of OP RESCRIPT, helped develop the COVID 19 decontamination procedure for the Merlin Mk2 aircraft and embarked in HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH for Operational Sea Training. Gilbert used every experience to increase his knowledge of the Merlin Mk2 operations and maintenance practices and really showcased what is achievable during a fast track apprentice AET’s Squadrons’ time.


Go-Ahead London

During Covid-19, Sherice Cadette balanced her key worker role as a London bus driver alongside her duties as a mother of two young children and a carer for her elderly mother. Sherice felt she had a moral obligation and responsibility to do her bit during the pandemic and ensure transport was available to those who needed it most. Her role as a bus driver meant essential and key workers across London could get to their place of work safely throughout the pandemic.

Sherice’s assigned bus route journeys through several areas across London with major hospitals nearby, such as St George’s and Springfield. This therefore meant the vast majority of her passengers were either doctors, nurses, or other vital hospital staff as well as patients.

Sherice’s professionalism, throughout the pandemic is truly inspirational, despite the ongoing challenges she faced, especially with her own health, Sherice didn’t stop driving her favourite route. Sherice was determined to make a contribution to society and help continue to provide a much needed service across London.


Barts Health NHS Trust

Munajj Islam, an Assistant Clinical Technologist has continued to deliver high quality Clinical Engineering services throughout the pandemic. The clinical engineering workforce – Clinical Scientists and Clinical Engineering Technologists – are absolutely essential to deliver safe and high-quality modern healthcare. Munajj is part of a team that continue to play a vital role in procuring, providing and maintaining life-saving equipment and ventilators during this year’s Covid-19 crisis.

As part of the clinical engineering team in the Newham University Hospital, Munajj carried out his daily responsibilities whilst helping with repairs and installation of medical equipment. Initially the ITU in Newham University Hospital had a total of 8  beds. ITU was then expanded to a 28-bed ward which had an entirely new additional fleet of equipment.

During the process he learnt a lot about ITU bed spaces as part of his duties included helping nurses and consultants with their equipment needs. Munajj benefitted from this experience by developing his technical skills including repairing and servicing equipment. This was a difficult time with a lot of the workforce off sick or on leave, yet Munajj grabbed the opportunity to take on much greater responsibility and excelled whilst doing so.


Melksham Town Council

Taylor Robinson, the Town Council’s Business Administration Apprentice was a driving force behind setting up the Wellbeing Hub at Melksham Town Council. This is a service available to anyone who is struggling during this difficult time, such as people who are shielding or self-isolating and don’t have a support network around them or know where to get help. Taylor also coordinated the requests, organised volunteers and tried to source goods and services that were needed by the most vulnerable and in need in the community.

Taylor was a driving force behind this and coordinated the requests, organised all the volunteers as well as sourcing goods and services that were needed to help those struggling during the pandemic. Taylor was a beacon of light during these challenging times, going above and beyond to put others first and provide a vital front line support to some of the most vulnerable in the local community.


Yorkshire Housing

Joel Williams is Yorkshire Housing’s data analyst apprentice and had only been with the company 6 months prior to lockdown.  Joel’s role included learning the principles of resource planning and collating data for the production of management information. However, as lockdown occurred and our contact centre became a remote service, with all staff now working from home, the requirements of the resource planning team changed. 

As these changes happened, Joel expanded the remit of his role.  His role as data analyst apprentice primarily was to plan and collate data as well as produce scheduled and ad hoc management information reports. However, during COVID-19 he has demonstrated the values of data to a different level. Responding to the requirements of home working brought on by COVID-19, Joel has been pivotal in testing and implementing new systems, enabling remote working and producing new data reporting tools to support managers in managing staff performance remotely. 

To enable effective remote planning we introduced new systems, which Joel was able to learn and become adept at using. Joel was pivotal in the implementation of these systems, providing good insight and identifying potential issues for fix prior to their going live.  Since the introduction of these systems Joel has been able to provide detailed support to our managers and has received positive feedback on a near continual basis. 

As a result of the changes, detailed management information has become even more prominent and Joel has really gone above and beyond. Rather than simply collating data, Joel using self-learning and support from others, produced new reporting tools which are now used by our team managers on a daily basis to identify staff performance changes, allowing them to react much faster to potential issues. 

These reports have allowed team managers to begin coaching on specific areas of concern and, as a result, we are now beginning to see improvements in the centre’s overall performance – October vs September has seen an improvement of 11%. 

Over the pandemic period, Yorkshire Housing’s resource planning team continues to work from home. Joel has shown an outstanding level of determination, flexibility and initiative throughout the lockdown period. He has built for himself a great reputation within our department with managers and advisors alike and is exceeding target dates set for his apprenticeship qualification. He has taken on the new challenges and proven apprentices can continue to work, learn and go beyond even in times of a pandemic!