A Sunderland College apprentice has been described as ‘an incredible future leader’ after taking part in a legacy programme aimed at tackling climate change in the City of Sunderland.
Amy Murphy, who is studying Business Administration and working at housing association Gentoo, successfully applied for ‘Sunderland60’ which is delivered by global leadership development organisation Common Purpose and challenges young people aged 18-25 to address some of the real social issues facing them and future generations.
With a desire to positively change the way Sunderland is perceived, Amy joined more than 40 of her peers to answer the question: ‘How can we act together to transform Sunderland into a cleaner, greener place for all?’
Through a series of online workshops and discussions, members investigated issues, held challenging conversations and collaborated to work up ideas.
The former St Robert of Newminster pupil said: “I was approached by Gentoo’s Head of Learning and Development, Alex, who presented Sunderland60 as a great opportunity for me to network with other inspiring young people from across the city and some of the programme’s sponsors.
“We came together for four days during the summer where we put forward six project proposals such as educating businesses with low budgets, how to be more sustainable and addressing the behaviour and pride of those living in Sunderland by creating events and taking small steps in making the city a cleaner and greener place.
“Not only has the programme helped me develop personally, but it also proved that you don’t have to be the loudest or most confident person to be a leader, just the eagerness to learn and make a difference.”
After standing out from the other members, Amy was asked to present the group’s ideas to the Sunderland Council Shadow Board which was made up of leading organisations and business partners from across the city as well as councillors representing each of the political groups of Sunderland City Council, including leader Graeme Miller.
Amy added: “When I was told I has been asked to present to the Shadow Board I couldn’t believe it, I was so excited and nervous. I spent a few days before the meeting preparing, but it was over in the blink of an eye.
“The experience has given me the courage to say ‘yes’ to more opportunities and has sparked an interest in public speaking. I was very inspired by the Board members’ feedback and their comment that I will be an incredible future leader has given me great confidence.”
The 19-year-old has impressed at Gentoo over the past year, where she works across the Communications, Learning and Development and HR teams. Amy is now focusing on completing her apprenticeship and gaining her Business Administration qualification which will hopefully lead to a full-time role with the Doxford International based company. Long term, she is looking to study a degree.
Alex Hammond, Head of Learning and Organisational Development at Gentoo, said: “The Sunderland60 programme was a great opportunity for Amy, and helps strengthen our partnerships in the city as well as showing our commitment to the council’s net zero targets.
“We couldn’t agree more with the Shadow Board that Amy will be an incredible future leader and can’t wait to see what else she achieves in the future.”
Rebecca Storey, Business Engagement Manager at Education Partnership North East, added: “We are incredibly proud to have worked in collaboration with Gentoo on training their existing and new workforce for a number of years, and Amy’s recent success and presenting to the Shadow Board is another example of how training and development can positively impact young people and raise aspirations.
“Through a combination of Amy’s determination and ability, and the ongoing support from Gentoo and Education Partnership North East, we are confident she will continue to achieve great things.”
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Our achievement rates are well above the national average.
We are the College of the Year.
(*Top college nationally for BTECs, Pearson 2019)
100% of our HND and HNC students progressed to employment or further study.
(*Destination data, academic year 2016/17, HNC 19+)
We have recently invested £50 million in our facilities.