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Care apprentice and ‘influencer’ wins national award thanks to his outstanding passion for people

Care apprentice and ‘influencer’ wins national award thanks to his outstanding passion for people

A 16-year-old apprentice has won a prestigious national education award after being inspired by his mum to work in the care sector.

Christopher Ademola, from Salford near Manchester, moved to England from Nigeria with his family to follow his mother, Shakira, who had secured work in the UK as a registered nurse.

After starting an Adult Care Worker apprenticeship at Wigan Council, Christopher has gone on to set up a YouTube channel – UNIFIED OSCE – alongside his mum where they share knowledge and guidance, such as around working with Alzheimer’s patients.

It’s this impressive dedication to health and care that has seen him named Apprentice of the Year at the Aspiration Awards – a national celebration created by the educational charity NCFE.

Christopher said: “People that knew me when I was younger, they would say I was a softie, but that’s always been part of me – making sure to put others even before myself. I think mostly I learned that from my mum.”

After a period of separation following his mum’s move to the UK, Christopher spent time looking after his younger brother. It was a responsibility that he picked up naturally and helped him realise he wanted to make a difference and help people as a career.

Reflecting on their first meeting, Karen Bradshaw, Service Manager at Wigan Council, said:

“When I first interviewed Christopher for an apprenticeship, he stood out from the crowd. 

“He told me he had always looked out for others. His passion was to make people happy, and he wanted to make a difference to people’s lives. He told me that anything worth doing in life must benefit the people around him. His smile and kind nature shone through the whole time.”

Since starting his apprenticeship, Christopher has been keen to gain experience in a range of services so that he can understand different patient needs and how each service works, spending time in areas such as dementia care, mental health, disabilities, and autism. 

Allan Milne, Director of Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement at Salford City College, said:

“In dealing with a range of services, he has experienced extremely challenging behaviours but he always shows compassion and care, and his kind nature shines through. 

“He’s found different and innovative ways to motivate those in his care – one example being an individual who had been unable to leave his setting but is now being taken out regularly in the community because of Christopher’s intervention and determination.”

Christopher said: “One of the service users, they suffered from depression. The person was isolated, always in their flat. I was able to help the individual step out of their comfort zone and actually start going out again.”

Looking towards his future, Christopher wants to continue to learn and develop his skills before moving into Occupational Therapy. He added:

“I’ve got big plans. To me, there’s nothing more satisfying or rewarding than helping people to regain or maintain their ability to perform an activity. It’s liberating and it’s life changing.”

Created by the leader in vocational and technical learning NCFE, the Aspiration Awards are now in their sixth year and celebrate learners, educators, and educational organisations across the UK.

Suzanne Slater, Aspiration Award Judge and Director of Operations for Apprenticeships at NCFE, said:

“Christopher’s nomination is truly inspirational and demonstrates how apprenticeships can positively impact a number of peoples’ lives. In Christopher’s case, himself, his employer and the people that he cares for.

“It is clear that his passion for his role, resilience, focus and determination have led to high performance and achievement for which he should be highly commended.”

For more information about the Aspiration Awards and to see all the winners, visit here.

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