Aspiration Awards 2023: Support Staff of the Year – Amy Yorke
The Support Staff of the Year award aims to recognise and honour a member of the behind-the-scenes team who has gone above and beyond to help learners or their colleagues. This year’s winner is Amy Yorke, Business Centre Manager for the Health and Social Care Academy at Warrington & Vale Royal College, who has worked tirelessly to ensure learners have the best opportunities in their industries whilst supporting local employers.
With a rich background in health and social care and an understanding of the challenges that the sector faces, Amy works closely with local health and social care employers, universities and wider stakeholders to ensure that Warrington & Vale Royal College is supporting the local sector and meeting local skills needs. As part of this work, she successfully launched the Warrington & Vale Royal College's Health & Social Care Academy, a specialist centre that houses an assisted living training flat and a simulated hospital ward.
She has also established very close relationships with a multitude of stakeholders including Warrington & Halton NHS Trust, Bridgewater NHS Trust, NHS England, Skills for Care, Warrington Borough Council, Merseycare and over 15 other local health and social care organisations. Amy continues to work in collaboration with the sector to provide the local workforce with bespoke training, recruitment solutions and access to specialist facilities.
Bridging the gaps between education and training
The college's existing learners have benefitted hugely from the stakeholder relationships that Amy has forged. This includes having access to work placements with the NHS and other care organisations, undertaking additional skills development opportunities and training with ICU nurses and Warrington Borough Council.
This also includes access to a bespoke 'Work Readiness' employability programme, designed in collaboration with The Cheshire & Warrington Pledge Partnership, which includes mock interviews and support for job searching.
Amy has built these strong and collaborative links with sector stakeholders via the Health & Social Care Academy Stakeholder Steering Group, which meets half termly and is now attended by over 40 health and social care employers. She has used her unique combination of skills to seamlessly bridge the gaps between education and training, and the sector itself to fill identified skills gaps.
In a recent mock inspection by an Ofsted inspector, the model that Amy has nurtured within health and social care was described as 'outstanding' and feedback from stakeholders has been exceptionally positive.
The college has consequently become the named training provider for the Warrington Together Workforce Group, who work strategically and collaboratively with the college to identify and respond to local health and social care sector training needs. Additionally, the college was approached by, and has since formed a partnership with NHS England to provide bespoke training to registered social care nurses.
Rebecca Anderson-Moss, Assistant Principal: Business Responsiveness & Growth at the College, says: “Warrington & Vale Royal College's Health & Social Care Academy has become an anchor institution within the Cheshire and Warrington area and is leading the way in addressing sector skills gaps. The success of the work undertaken is absolutely down to the innovative and values-driven work undertaken by Amy Yorke as the Business Centre Manager!
“Our learners are developing better skills and are now better prepared for their chosen progression pathway and the workplace, as a result of the employer-led enhancements that they have had the opportunity to access. The college could not be more proud of the work that Amy has done and the success that she has achieved for our learners, the college and for herself.”
Amy finishes: “I was extremely shocked but also very proud to have received the award and am extremely grateful to the college, and in particular my line manager and Assistant Principal, Rebecca Anderson-Moss for her support and the nomination. We have worked very hard as a team alongside the curriculum team to build and develop the HSCA, and I am delighted this hard work has been recognised through the award.”
Support Staff of the Year 2023: Amy Yorke
Our Teacher of the Year is Lucy Sharp, Education and Early Years T Level Coordinator and teacher at Derby College, who has worked extremely hard to deliver the new Education and Early Years T Level.
Our Centre of the Year winner is Learning Curve Group, who impressed the judges with their dedication to their learners’ needs, ensuring that every learner receives equal opportunities.
Our Against All Odds winner is Gabriella Fox, an inspiring individual who began studying her Level 2 Certificate in Creative Craft (Cookery) remotely through Technology Triumphs in January 2022.