A local mental health worker has been recognised for their training achievements at the Sussex Apprenticeship Awards 2021.
Fiona Wilson, who currently works in Forensic Healthcare Services as a Support Time Recovery Worker at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, was awarded the accolade of Health and Public Service Apprentice of the Year at an awards ceremony held at Hilton Brighton Metropole on Thursday 9 December.
Fiona recently completed a 15-month apprenticeship alongside her job, passing with a distinction in Level 3 Adult Care Work, as well as a Level 2 in Functional Skills in Maths and English.
When speaking about how it felt to win the award, Fiona said: "To be honest, I was really surprised to even be nominated! With everything else that had been going on during the pandemic, I didn't think my studies would have been noticed. So, it has been incredible for me that people have taken the time and effort to applaud me for my efforts.
"I am so fortunate to work in an extremely caring and supportive team. Even when we have been very busy working on the frontline throughout the pandemic, my team has given me a huge amount of support in my learning, and I certainly could not have achieved this without them.
"As someone who is not naturally academic, the apprenticeship was challenging for me. But winning this award has helped me to recognise that though it has been difficult at times, I have achieved something really special. And I now feel more confident about the possibility of taking on further training in the future."
Stacey Killon, Workforce Transformation Manager at Sussex Partnership, said: " Fiona is a great example of how important career progression via an apprenticeship opportunity is to our Trust. We are incredibly proud of the journey she has made to complete her Level 3.
"Apprenticeships are a fundamental way of upskilling our workforce as it supports the development of new skills, knowledge and behaviours. These principles reinforce our organisational strategy in improving the experience of our patients, families, carers and staff."
Sussex Partnership, who provide specialist mental health and learning disability services across the south east, currently have 171 staff who are completing apprenticeships.
For more information about the services that Sussex Partnership provide, go to www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk.