Lauren’s Story

Karen and I went to Blend in the middle of June where I met Donna Molyneaux. She mentioned about doing my Maths and English, and also mentioned about a two day work experience.

Andy (he was involved with the work experience for the Blend project) came over and said we might have a placement at a wedding shop in Alfreton, which I was very happy about because I had done work experience at another Wedding shop called the Wedding Boutique.

So I said yes to doing my Maths and English at the Blend project. I started on 13th June 2016 with Andy (he was the Maths and English teacher). Andy really helped me while I was there.

Then the work experience: Andy came into me and said we are offering you a placement at Purple Robes on a Wednesday and Thursday. I did 7 months on placement at Purple Robes as voluntary work. In this time I learnt very quickly with the till and learnt new things about the shop and skills that I wouldn’t of done before.

The staff made me feel very welcome and a part of the team. Karen (my Barnardo’s worker) introduced me to Jude the education support worker (Derbyshire County Council) to ask her if there was a position for me as an apprentice in Purple Robes. Jude sorted out my apprenticeship out with Derbyshire County Council including Maths and English. I started my 18 month apprenticeship on 30th January 2017.

Lauren - Purple Robes

Purple Robes

Since I started at purple Robes, I have gained skills and confidence, including:

  • Answering the phone
  • Serving customers
  • Using the till
  • Helping customers choose the outfit
  • Answering questions what customers have asked
  • Using the steamer
  • Cleaning the shop up
  • Window displays
  • Ideas for the shop floor / window display
  • EBay
  • Banking
  • Making customers feel happy
  • Being polite and respectful in the shop
  • Gift aid
  • Planning the day in the shop with Dena, Sally, Jean
  • Always on time
  • Good customer service in the shop
Lauren - Award

I work Monday to Friday 10 till 5 then sometimes I swap a day in the week for a Saturday because all our team are very flexible and we help each other out when we need to. I do English on a Tuesday, Maths on a Friday, and one hour with Amanda Eade (my assessor) on a Thursday doing my customer service course work.

I like to think I am helpful in shop. I have great ideas when we are planning window display or moving the shop around. I’ve gained in confidence and am learning new skills in the shop all the time. I ask Dena, Jean and Sally when I’m stuck on something and they will help me when I don’t understand anything. I really enjoy my job as an apprentice I and would love to continue at Purple Robes.