Sue Taylor writes:
The feedback this year has been amazing and it makes such a difference to our apprentices to celebrate at such a prestigious event. I met a mother recently at a careers event and she thanked us for putting on the graduation, I asked her to drop a few lines down and was amazed when I received the response below which will should help you to be inspired and get behind next years event. She asked me to share.
I would like to thank you for organising the graduation days at Guildford Cathedral for the apprenticeships and would like to tell you our backstory as to why this day was so special.
My daughter from age of 14 became really ill having asthma attacks and being hospitalised every 6 to 10 days; this could be anything from an overnight stay to a week and some days we were only out of hospital for 24 hours before going back in. As you can imagine this had a huge impact on her schooling but she never gave up and would do school work at every opportunity. When it came to GCSE time she even discharged herself from hospital to sit her maths GCSE.
On leaving school she attended Woking College and they were amazing giving her a part time timetable, she achieved a Health and Social Care qualification of the highest level, but during this time she became very ill and was diagnosed with Addisons Disease and a hole in her heart, she also had Koreticonis which is a condition which affects the corneas of her eyes and they were at risk of splitting, she had to have surgery to correct this. She was desperate to go to University but despite several interviews was unable to gain a place and one even wrote back advising she would not get a place due to her lack of dedication to her studies this was purely based on her attendance.
She did not let this get her down. Her resilience is amazing and she applied to be a call handler with the Ambulance Service. She did not think she would get in because they advised her she was the youngest they had apply, however she succeeded and passed all her training, she gained a recommendation notice in their newsletter for the way she handled calls calmly etc, however her health had not improved and before her three month probation ended she was told it would not work out with her being so ill and she was dismissed.
Again although angry and hurt by this her resilience did not fail her and within a week she had applied for an apprenticeship at The Howard Nursey here she did her level 2 which led to her graduation day; a day she had often dreamed of but never felt it would come true. We know that with her Addisons disease 'good' stress is also very bad for her, when she becomes excited about something it can make her very ill. It was therefore difficult to manage the day and in fact 24 hours beforehand she was rushed to A&E because her condition had kicked in as it normally does; however she was discharged and we kept things as calm as possible.
You were amazing at putting her mind at rest on the day and arranged for her to have an end seat and reassured her that whatever happened it would be dealt with, you allowed us to park on site which meant we were able to have the medical supplies with us and transport should anything happen.
We had a fantastic day. She looked amazing, the venue was amazing and members of the public kept saying 'you must be so proud' - they had no idea how proud and I have to say I shed many a tear knowing how much she had been through to achieve this, she had even organised an evening celebration and managed the whole day and evening before crashing the next day in exhaustion the best thing being she said the exhaustion was worth it because she had had a great day.
She has now gone on to do her level 3 wich is due to complete the beginning of next year and had her contract renewed by The Howard, she is loving life, her conditions are a little more stable although we have had four visits to A&E this month there are less admissions.
Thank you for all the hard work you do in organising this, I am happy for you to share any of this information with others if it helps to show what an amazing affect this event has had to our family and enabled my daughter to have the day she had always dreamed of and made her feel she can achieve.