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Goodbye and Good Luck to our Apprentice Zoe

Written by Lisa Spurgin, 9th April 2015

Saying goodbye is always bittersweet, but it's with looking back on some wonderful achievements that we bid a fond farewell to our Reader Apprentice Zoe Jermy.

Zoe joined The Reader Organisation over two years ago with her apprenticeship being funded by money raised by our Apprenticeships: Building Opportunities for Life scheme, a programme designed especially to provide a young person from the local community with a flexible and specially tailored way into the working world. Keeping a focus on practical and creative work experience in a range of different areas, the apprenticeship role aimed to develop competencies and through experience, equip with life skills including social awareness, emotional resilience, enterprise and creativity.

Zoe was the third Apprentice employed by us and has been an incredible asset to the organisation, being a key part of our Wirral team (and helping us out on the other side of the River Mersey in Liverpool too). She's packed an amazing amount into the last two years; here's Zoe's account of the time in her own words:

I am very grateful for my 2 year apprenticeship at The Reader Organisation. I met a lot of friendly people and built up a lovely relationship with Helen who supported me greatly; I’ve had lots of new experiences, and learnt loads of new skills.

I started working in Leasowe Library with Vic, working with the kids there. It was lovely as the kids got on really well with Eamee, Niall and myself. I will always be grateful to Eamee for taking me under her wing, as if it wasn’t for Eamee I don’t think I would have got through some of the things she helped me with. Thank you Eamee, you are a STAR!

I started going to a group in The Lauries Centre on a Thursday morning with Helen. Helen then left that group and I met Selina. Soon I started helping Selina out with teas & coffees and helped set up the room in the morning, I also sometimes picked a poem to go with the book we were reading. I became really confident with the chats and soon learnt a lot from Selina when she did the facilitation. Some days Selina took leave and I was confident enough to run the group on my own.

I then started working at St Ann’s Primary School with Jane, Eamee and Charlotte. This was also a lovely place to work and it was really fun to work with the boys. They loved reading The Pencil.

The next thing that I found very challenging was the two day event in Calderstones. I was really nervous and had a panic attack so I went in the kitchen to take some time out and Jane found me and asked what was wrong. I explained and she spoke to me and gave me some great support, saying ‘you can do it!’ She gave me a hug and I went out and started helping to sell books. I was so proud of myself. The second day that I was there I knew what to expect and did brilliant!

I started going to Highcroft Day Centre and the centre was really nice too. The staff were so helpful and made you feel so welcome. I then started doing Birkenhead Court which was another elderly centre. Sandra the volunteer was great with the residents and I became more confident when we both took it in turns to read a poem each and discuss it.

I went to The SEN Awards and it was lovely. I am so glad I went as I will never get another experience like it. It was a night I will never forget and it made it even better that The Reader Organisation won!

I have passed my Theory driving test and all my English, Maths and customer service with Cathy Chan from Sysco training. I also passed my Level 2 English in college.

I started going to Selina’s group on a Wednesday and loved it ever since I started; it is the one thing I have stuck to most while in my apprenticeship. Wednesdays were when I was my happiest. I have met the most amazing people from the groups to the staff in the Library.

I want to stay a HUGE thank you for everyone who has supported me and given me belief in myself as if it wasn’t for you kind people I wouldn’t be where I am today. I always thought low of myself and never thought I was going to achieve anything but you have all shown me help, support and love though my journey and I am so grateful but also so sad to be leaving. I am not very good at expressing myself even through writing but I will never forget the big and small things that people have done for me. Thank you!

All of us at The Reader Organisation would like to say a huge thanks to Zoe for all her hard work and enthusiasm. We wish her the very best for her bright future and in all that she does.

Read more about one of Zoe's adventures during her Apprenticeship,  taking a trip to Antwerp to help us run one of our international Read to Lead courses.

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