Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week 2024

Just over three years ago, we welcomed two apprentices to the team. Libby and Sam joined in 2021 on a Digital Marketing Degree Apprenticeship course, studying at Anglia Ruskin University. When they started, they wrote an introductory post, and for National Apprenticeship Week 2024, they have revisited it.

We’ve been at Healthwatch Essex for over three years now which sounds like a lot longer than it has felt. In that time, we’ve both learnt a lot of new skills, and developed some pre-existing ones.

Sam, 23, joined Healthwatch Essex as a 20-year-old with a journalism qualification, some experience of photo and video editing, and a willingness to get hands-on experience. Now, he’s developed his camera and editing skills, and gained a greater understanding of marketing in a more professional setting.

Libby, 22, joined Healthwatch Essex as a shy 19-year-old with a passion for social media, interest in marketing, and very little knowledge of the theory behind it. She came to Healthwatch Essex fresh from Sixth Form, and three years later, she speaks as someone who has grown not only in knowledge but in practical skills too.

Over the course of our apprenticeship, we have been to a lot of very fun and interesting events, and have had the opportunity to support and lead so many exciting projects. There have been a diverse range of projects, from creating short films, producing social media campaigns, and much more. We know you’re not supposed to have favourites, but here are ours…

The “A Year With The Essex Fella’s Forum” film has been Libby’s favourite project: “It was the first big project that I was the lead on which meant that I was responsible for filming, editing, and promoting. I got to work with Dan, our Engagement Manager, to produce the film. We interviewed members of the group, and I joined them at their different activities. When it came to promoting it, I wrote a blog piece and created some social media graphics for it too. I really enjoyed working on the project and it felt like I was able to bring together everything I had learnt since starting in 2021. I’m definitely very proud of this project, and the group liked the outcome too!”

Grace (L), Libby (M), and Sam (R)

Sam’s favourite project was The Fella’s Fair film he helped produce: “Given this was the first Fella’s Fair we hosted, we were not fully sure what to expect. However, when I started filming on the day, I had a lot of fun running round to different areas of the event, especially as it was held at a football ground during a match. It was a great experience filming all the different aspects of the event, such as the players getting a talk in the dressing room about the importance of prostate cancer, and I’m looking forward to the next one.

We couldn’t write this without mentioning Grace, the other apprentice at Healthwatch Essex. Grace joined us around 18 months ago as our Business Administration apprentice, studying with RM Training. She is currently in the final stages of her apprenticeship and is working towards completing her End Point Assessment – good luck Grace, we hope it goes well!