Joinery apprenticeship receives award for determination and resilience

James Blenkiron presents the John Blenkiron Memorial Apprenticeship Award to Olly Reynolds.

Former Richmond School student Olly Reynolds has been awarded a trophy and a £250 bursary which recognises his professional and proactive approach to securing a joinery apprenticeship.

Olly was one of 15 Richmond School students gaining apprenticeships and his school selected him for the John Blenkiron Memorial Apprenticeship Award for his determination and resilience in gaining his apprenticeship with Fletcher Joinery in Darlington.

The award was presented in memory of the founder of John Blenkiron & Sons Funeral Directors by his son and current business principal James Blenkiron.

The Blenkiron family originally established their business as a joiners and undertakers, with John Blenkiron – following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps – founding John Blenkiron and Sons over 50 years ago.

James Blenkiron, a former Richmond School student, said: “My dad believed apprenticeships were very important and took on several apprentices in the joinery side of the business over the years. I am pleased and proud to sponsor this award in his memory.”

The annual award was established in 2014 in memory of the former Mayor of Richmond and local magistrate.

It recognises the achievement of one young person at the school who has gone on to an apprenticeship, with the £250 bursary supporting the winner to purchase any necessary equipment for their apprenticeship.

Headteacher of Richmond School, Jenna Potter, said: “We are grateful to John Blenkiron & Sons and Funeral Partners for their continued support.

“Many students are interested in apprenticeships, but Olly stood out as he realised that to be successful it requires hard work, determination and a positive approach.

“Olly developed an excellent CV, letter and application. During the application process, he demonstrated very good communication skills and this professional approach will help him in his career. We wish him every success and know that he will go far.”