Roffey Park’s Polly Saunders: A finalist for Apprentice of the Year

Roffey Park’s Polly Saunders: A finalist for Apprentice of the Year

March 31, 2022 2:16 pm

Recently the team at Roffey Park Institute had the opportunity to celebrate that Assistant Hospitality Manager Polly Saunders was nominated and shortlisted for the Apprentice of the Year award at the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards 2022.

Polly made the final three out of hundreds of nominations. Those who made shortlist had all shown outstanding progress and commitment to their own personal development, and their progression on a recognised learning scheme.

The judges were looking for evidence of where an apprentice had made a significant contribution towards their workplace and for evidence of the organisation’s commitment to apprenticeships.

Polly was nominated for the award by Nigel Dean, Director of Client Experience at Roffey Park Institute. When asked why he nominated Polly he replied: ‘In short Polly has demonstrated that she has been the perfect apprentice. A fantastic sunny personality, a wicked sense of humour and insatiable work ethic has merged to form a young potential leader with confidence and grace.’

Polly was certainly not expecting any nomination, she told us: ‘I was quite surprised at first. I think I just do my job everyday so when I was told about the nomination I wondered why. But it was really nice.’

Apprentice of the year
Polly, Nigel and Jane at the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards 2022

The ceremony took place at the Grand Hotel in Brighton and was a brilliant experience, explained Polly: ‘It was amazing. A gorgeous dinner, a champagne reception and even some entertainment as comedian Russell Kane made a guest appearance, he was hilarious! All in all, I had a fantastic evening.’

This year’s Gatwick Diamond Business Awards signified so much more than winning, they demonstrated resilience and sustainability over a difficult year.

Polly perfectly encapsulates this after her apprenticeship was interrupted by the pandemic, but that did not stop her. Whilst other remained on furlough she volunteered to continue working as part of a skeleton team delivering training to essential workers such as the Sussex and Surrey Police.

Polly certainly has a competitive side to her and is eager for more success in the future: ‘I would love to be nominated for another award. There was an award for Customer Satisfaction on the night and I think as an organisation we can definitely go for that in the future. I think we would have a smashing chance as those that come to Roffey Park Institute rarely leave without having an amazing time.’

Everyone here at Roffey Park are delighted of what Polly has already achieved, Nigel explained: ‘Polly started her apprenticeship as the youngest and least experienced member of the team and by her sheer will to absorb knowledge, her enthusiasm for delivering first class serving and an infectious personality she has quickly become a crucial part of the team.’

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