Lauren Lothian Luke Southby

NHS nursery apprentice, Lauren Lothian, and NHS volunteer, Luke Southby, were rewarded with hospitality treatment at Brighton & Hove Albion’s Amex Stadium last weekend by club lounge sponsor, Sussex Skills Solutions.

Hard work and a commitment to learning have paid off for Lauren and Luke. The pair received hospitality treatment at The Amex Stadium, home of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club (BHAFC) during their home game against Leicester City on Saturday 24th November.

Sussex Skills Solutions, the apprenticeship and training provider based out of East Sussex College, offered four hospitality tickets to their lounge at The Amex to wacth Brighton’s Premier League match.

East Sussex College Childcare apprentice, Lauren, won two of the match-day tickets in an internal competition run through her employer, the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. Sussex Skills Solutions then extended two more tickets to the NHS, in recognition of Luke completing 10 years of voluntary service. In a special gesture by BHAFC, Luke was also presented with a signed home shirt prior to the game.

Cara Mitchell, Nursery Business Manager, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Luke has been a valued member of the NHS for the past 10 years, having been a Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust volunteer in the kitchens at the Hilltop Nursery [Brighton General Hospital] and now Butterfly Nursery [Hove Poly Clinic]. He has become a valued team member is an asset to the nursery."

“Luke has a passion for football and already attends Sunday Adult disability league football sessions run by Albion in the Community. He was very excited about going to see the Albion play at The Amex. We are delighted to give him this opportunity in recognition of his dedication and a massive thank you to the Club for hearing Luke’s story and presenting him with a signed shirt.”

Luke now works on the nursery bank for a couple of hours per week in a supported employment placement.

NHS volunteer Luke Southby

Lauren Lothian, secured her apprenticeship after a four-day work placement at the Hilltop Nursery at Brighton’s General Hospital. “The placement was part of my course on The Prince’s Trust programme,” Lauren said: “I’d never thought of a career in childcare but after four days at Hilltop Nursery I had the most amazing time with the children and staff. I was lucky to then be told there was a vacancy for an apprenticeship at the nursery. I applied straight away and was happily successful."

“Since being here I’ve done lots of important training and been involved in so many different events within the NHS, and I am pleased with where my career is heading.”

Lauren is about to finish her Level 2 qualification as a Nursery Nurse after 18 months. She now hopes to work toward her Level 3 qualification at Hilltop.

Jill Durrant, Widening Participation Lead at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, added: “Working with Sussex Skill Solutions over the last two years has allowed us to build up a close working relationship. They have been very supportive and knowledgeable in relation to recruiting and developing our apprenticeship team. It’s been a massive learning curve due to the apprenticeship levy but Sussex Skills explained things clearly and the tutors have been very supportive of Lauren and all the other apprentices.”

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