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March 05 2021 | Articles | News

(L - R Jamie, Alex and Natalie)

Studying and working towards an apprenticeship during a pandemic is no easy feat. So big congratulations to Alex Docherty, Natalie Columb and Jamie Taylor who've all done brilliantly passing their courses.

They started their studies in September 2019, so much of the course was carried out during lockdowns, making their experience very different to most apprenticeships. However, they've helped each other through and have become great friends along the way. 

“We adapted really quickly,” said Alex, “we just went from face to face meetings to virtual ones. And most of our assignments had been done by the time the pandemic hit.

"I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to do this, and the support I’ve had from managers has been fantastic.”

Alex is facing her next challenge as Northwards’ brand new Fire Safety Co-ordinator, and is working towards her National Fire Certificate. Her main responsibilities will be keeping up with legislation to make sure our homes are safe.

Jamie and Natalie have both secured roles in the Customer Service Centre.

Jamie started off her apprenticeship in the rents team and she was really nervous at first. Her first experience of a work place had been difficult, working as a receptionist in a toxic, corporate environment.

“I’d been quite badly bullied in my previous job and was suffering with anxiety and depression when I started.

"Answering the phones was really daunting and stressful at first but everyone in the rent team was so kind to me, I was well looked after.”

Natalie started off her apprenticeship doing repairs admin. “Once Covid kicked in I changed roles to suit the business and joined the call centre," she said. "The call centre is very fast paced and you never know who is on the end of the phone.

"The repairs calls are really challenging, especially when people are angry. I’m learning to take five minutes to myself after the difficult ones.

"I’ve lived in Northwards properties over the years, and my mum lives in Victoria Square. She has a great time over there and is really well looked after by the scheme managers. It’s really nice to be working here.”

Congratulations ladies. We hope you’ll soon be able to have a big night out to celebrate properly.

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