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Gloucestershire Business News

Hospice’s hope for future as it welcomes new fundraising apprentices

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on both the job market and charity fundraising activities, Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice has appointed two new apprentices to its fundraising team.

Grace Noble, 19, and Luke Drinkwater, 26, both from Cheltenham, will join the charity at the start of National Apprenticeship Week (8th February) and are looking forward to gaining valuable hands-on experience working at the hospice, while studying for their Level 3 fundraising apprenticeship with Bauer Academy.

Grace said: "I have always wanted to do charity work and I just wasn't expecting to find something in this field at this time.

"The pandemic has brought home to me how important it is to help people, and this is what made the role at Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice so appealing."

Grace was due to start university in September, but decided at the last minute that it wasn't the right path for her.

"I started searching for a job instead. It's really hard as a young person to find work in lockdown, let alone in something you are really passionate about. I count myself really fortunate to have secured this role with Sue Ryder.

"The fact I get to learn and get practical hands-on experience alongside really appeals to me."

Luke is also looking forward to the new challenge. He is no stranger to the hospice, having been working as part of the hospice housekeeping team since September, after his career plans changed as a result of the pandemic.

Luke said: "I went to university in London and studied lighting design at a theatre school and secured a job working in the theatre industry. I worked on a range of productions and was touring with the Buddy Holly Story when the pandemic swept in and changed everything.

"All of the theatre industry just stopped overnight with no way of getting moving again.

"I was willing to take anything because, having the specialist background I do, can make it a difficult sell for transferable skills. I saw the job in housekeeping at the hospice and applied.

"When I got to the hospice and started working I was so surprised by what I found. I was expecting it to be a very downbeat and depressing place to work, but it is the complete opposite.

"It has an upbeat community family feeling. I have been here for five months and I really enjoy it - there is a real sense of doing my part to help people in need at the moment, which is really rewarding."

When Luke spotted the fundraising apprenticeship role on a government website, he applied.

"I'm really looking forward to getting started and seeing where my new role takes me. I am really grateful to Sue Ryder for the chance to start in housekeeping in an entry level position and then move up. They have really welcomed me into the organisation and I am so grateful to them for investing in me and taking a chance on me.

"I feel like I am taking the skills I had and pivoting them to do something good. Being able to learn alongside the job will give me confidence as I learn and develop new skills too."

Alysia Cameron-Price, Community Fundraising Manager at the hospice said: "This is the first time we have ever had apprentices in fundraising and Luke and Grace's appointment could not come at a better time for us, when we're so desperately doing all we can to raise the vital funds so our care can continue."

For more information on Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice visit 

For more information on apprenticeships with Sue Ryder email 

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