Apprentice-dinner-Laura-WoolassSellafield Ltd apprentice, Laura Woolass, received the ‘Captains Apprentice Award’ following her involvement in the recent Apprentice Tall Ship Challenge.

Laura, from Seascale, was part of 24 strong apprentice team from Sellafield Ltd who recently endured a tough two weeks sailing Lady of Avenel, a traditional tall ship, as part of the Apprentice Ship Cup challenge.

At the celebration dinner held at The Great Hall, Liverpool Hope University, Laura was awarded The Captain’s Apprentice Awards – Lady of Avenel (sponsored by Glendale) and the Apprentice of the Year award (sponsored by Peel Ports).

Laura said:

“The experience was hard work but really exciting and completely different to the day job. We had some very challenging moments, like going up and down the sails at midnight in the pitch black, rocking side to side on huge waves, but we worked as a great team and although it was a tiring week, it was good fun. I am so proud to have been nominated for these awards”

The apprentices, aged between 16 and 25, from Sellafield site and Hinton House, successfully completed the grueling race across the west coast of England against other apprentices from companies such as United Utilities, Argos and Pirelli.

The teams were responsible for all aspects of crewing the ships, helping them to develop valuable and transferable skills that they can apply to their life and career.

The first Sellafield Ltd crew boarded the ship in June at Liverpool Docks during the Mersey River Festival. The following day they set sail to Belfast for an overnight stay before arriving into Whitehaven Harbour, where the ship was docked for two nights allowing for a crew changeover.

On Sunday 22 June the real race began, when the fleet of three ships departed Whitehaven in the race back to Liverpool arriving back on Friday 27 June.

Andrew Carr, Hinton House Director at Sellafield Ltd attended the awards. He said: “I was extremely pleased to have had the opportunity to attend the Apprentice Ship Cup Awards and hear first hand of the experience gained by the Sellafield Ltd apprentices on Board the Lady of Avenel.

“The Captain of the Lady of Avenel spoke very highly of the commitment and dedication of all the Sellafield Ltd apprentices taking part and how proud we must be of them. Not only did Laura gain well deserved recognition by her own Captain, but she was also recognised as the Apprentice of the Year amongst some very stiff competition.

“This is a significant achievement for Laura and for all those who supported her. We should all be very encouraged by Laura and by the team of Sellafield Ltd.”

The Captain of the ship Lady of Avenel, Ben Swain, said: “It has been a pleasure to sail with this group of youngsters who are a credit to the Sellafield Ltd apprentice programme. They are one of the best trainee crews we’ve ever had on these ships. They have been exceedingly willing and enthusiastic which has made it so much more fun for us as mentors.”

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