A North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) apprentice was one of the worthy recipients at a regional award ceremony.
Joseph Picola beat off strong competition to win the overall Intermediate Apprentice of the Year award at the Regional NHS Apprentice Awards on 12 March.
At the time the 20-year-old, from Blakelaw, worked for the trust’s Patient Transport Service (PTS).
After finishing his apprenticeship, he went straight into a job on the Emergency Care side of the trust, working as an Emergency Care Assistant based in Hexham.
He said: “The night was really good and just shows you get appreciated for your work and everything you’ve done.
“It was a really happy moment and my grandma and mam were over the moon.
“I’ve really enjoyed my apprenticeship. You get your C1 on your driving licence and qualification out of it, you get to know everybody and it’s like a family, everyone at your station supports you through what you’re doing and you’re constantly learning.”
Joseph was joined at the ceremony by five other NEAS apprentices – Callum Cooper, Karina Pringle, Chantelle Kostarelou, Hannah Greenacre and Jessica McLean – also nominated for awards.
They all received a certificate for their achievements.
The Regional NHS Apprentice Awards, hosted by Health Education North East as part of National Apprenticeship Week, recognise the outstanding dedication, hard work and enthusiasm of apprentices in the NHS.
Joseph’s success follows on from previous wins at the awards.
Last year, Hollie Smith, who is now training to be a paramedic, won Intermediate Apprentice of the Year. Matthew South, who is now an emergency care assistant, picked up the Apprentice that Made the Biggest Impact on Patient Care Award.
Sam McSorley, Operations Manager for PTS North, said: “It was fantastic to be part of the event. It was really inspiring to hear the stories of all of the apprentices nominated from fields ranging from dental nursing to admin and engineering.
“We are incredibly proud of Joseph and all of our nominees, as well as all of those who were not nominated but nevertheless do themselves and NEAS very proud in their roles. Their enthusiasm brightens up our workforce and the patients love them too.”