National Apprenticeship Week – Your Starter For Ten At Blenheim Court’s Breakfast Club

9th February 2024

When the date for National Apprenticeship Week appeared on the calendar, Blenheim Court's Home Manager Sam Booty thought it would be a great topic to spark conversation at the home's weekly Breakfast Club get-together, where managers and residents catch up with croissants, cappuccinos, and plenty of chat!

Why apprenticeships are important for young people and the care industry

Joined by Head Chef, Nathan, and Deputy Manager, Kelly, Sam began by telling the group why she feels it’s so important to support apprenticeship schemes – essentially, as an opportunity to introduce a positive attitude towards the health and social sector to those starting out in the world of work - just as she did 24 years ago.

Sam joined one of Caring Homes Group’s sister homes while she was still at school, working part-time as a kitchen assistant. She explains: “I’d always wanted to work in care, so this was a chance to get into the industry, but my career only progressed because I had great mentors and training opportunities. The company offered me a choice of career path – nursing or management – and I chose the management path, which I followed through a series of workplace apprenticeships”.

Residents contribute their views and experience

Warming up to the subject of apprenticeships, the residents were quick to comment on how lovely it was to have Loryn back at Blenheim Court. Loryn, who attends Wolmer Hill School in Hazelmere, had made a great impression during her work experience placement at the home last summer. This year, she’s returning to Blenheim Court to work as a host during school holidays – a popular appointment!

Meanwhile, resident Brian said he would like to take part in any apprenticeship interviews as this was something he’d done himself when he worked for IBM. Sam gladly accepted this offer of support – a fantastic way to tap into Brian’s expertise and extend the strong teamwork ethos at Blenheim Court.

Success Stories at Blenheim Court

Blenheim Court is now on the work experience provider list for four local schools and Sam announced further plans for a collaboration with Guildford College to offer work experience and apprenticeships. Team members at the home are also enjoying progression through apprenticeships, with many completing apprenticeships alongside gaining practical experience in their day to day roles.

Tom Mathew is just one of Blenheim Court’s success stories, having joined as a kitchen porter in 2020 and impressing the team with his passion and evident ability to cook. Tom progressed quickly and two years later, interviewed for the Assistant Chef position. Success came with the chance to complete his Level 2 Production Chef apprenticeship qualification with the company – something he’s extremely proud of, saying he wanted to “thank the company for giving me the opportunity to become a qualified chef”.

A Positive Future at Caring Homes

Sam shared her mission with the group: to support a more positive future for her staff and more widely, to offer encouragement to young people looking for their first jobs, aiming to banish the stigma of working in health and social care. She added: “It’s something I’m extremely proud to be part of, although it’s also important to make sure we have the correct staff skill mix, which includes a healthy balance of young workers. Ultimately, our goal is to provide nothing less than excellent care for every one of our elderly residents at Blenheim Court”.

Being Blenheim, a home where there is always an activity on the go, the meeting ended with a quiz on apprenticeships! There was also an interesting discussion around what one resident was earning on an apprenticeship 65 years ago, compared with the minimum wage when Sam started working 24 years ago, and what it is now.

All food for thought – and the perfect breakfast-time conversation to mark National Apprenticeship Week!

Join us at Caring Homes

If you’ve been inspired to find out more about careers at Caring Homes and the range of roles and opportunities at all levels, visit

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Blenheim Court provides residential, nursing and dementia care on a permanent or short stay basis. The home offers a range of facilities and plenty of areas for entertainment or relaxation, including lounges with beautiful views over the South Downs. There is also a regular programme of activities which feature on our Facebook page - or please do call our friendly team on 0808 223 5537 to arrange a viewing.

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