Hello PPMA friends

Our latest blog post has been written by our amazing joint Apprentice of the Year 2019 winner, Kirsten Moore.  She talks about her legacy and the ups and downs she’s experienced so far. It’s an inspiring story and shows true determination to succeed!

“The journey to undertaking my apprenticeship was an unexpected and unpredictable one. I began to realise that making rigid plans for both the long and short term was not a wise idea as it left me open to more upset and confusion when things (inevitably it would seem) didn’t go as expected.

I have partially carried this mindset through my current role and my apprenticeship, but in a more positive way. In not planning, I have allowed myself to be open to all the possibilities the work and apprenticeship has to offer and as such I have had some amazing experiences: including participating in the PPMA Apprentice of the Year competition, which I jointly won.

The competition asked us to consider and present our legacy. Mine focused on fundraising for Parkinson’s UK, as it is a cause close to my heart (three members of my family suffer from the disease).

In the mindset of, ‘Go big or go home’, I declared to my fellow apprentices, the judging panel and anyone at the May conference who attended the Let’s Talk: Talent Programme session, that my fundraising efforts would begin with the Three Peaks Challenge. For those of you who don’t know, the Three Peaks Challenge consists of climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 24 hours!

I’ve never done anything like that before, but I wanted my lifetime of fundraising for the charity to begin with a bang! Everyone was so supportive of the challenge – positive affirmations from the apprentices spurred me on and I was even given donations during the conference.

The aim was to train and prepare over most of the summer and complete the challenge roughly mid-September, when it hopefully wouldn’t be as hot, but not yet too susceptible to adverse weather conditions.

Late May Bank Holiday weekend, I was down in Somerset and hiking Cheddar Gorge – a nice start to training. Or so I thought.

Unfortunately, I am now undergoing physiotherapy for my knees. Something about that hike aggravated my knee joints and it will take a while for the inflammation to settle.

I don’t think I could climb a hill right now without pain, let alone three mountains!

It’s difficult to not be frustrated about the situation. I had made a plan and once again it’s crumbled before me. I feel like I have let everyone down, especially my fellow apprentices as the challenge formed such a big part of my final presentation and they were all so supportive of this undertaking.

But, as the saying goes, it’s time to make lemonade. Just because this challenge needs to be postponed (I am determined to complete it in the next couple of years, as the knees allow), it doesn’t mean that the fundraising comes to a halt.

I am in the process of planning the fundraising I can undertake this year – even if it’s a simple bake-sale, it’s a start. And that’s the beauty of a legacy: I have my lifetime to pursue this, so I don’t have to do everything now.

But it shows how much my apprenticeship has helped me – the support I have been given along the way from my employer and now from the PPMA means that I am no longer giving up at the first hurdle.

Thank you for getting to the end of this post. I felt I had to write something so I didn’t come across as a fraud for not doing what I said I would! Now, time to make more lemonade.”

Kirsten Moore, PPMA Joint Apprentice of the Year 2019 and Apprentice at Central Bedfordshire Council