A night to remember

On Wednesday 21st November we attended Scotland’s Apprentice Awards 2012 which held at the Glasgow Science Centre.

The evening started with a drinks reception in the main lobby, you could feel the excitement in the air and everyone was dressed in their best finery. After a few sparkling wines we were ushered into the large IMAX auditorium where the award presentations were to take place.  We took our seats and the evening was kicked off by Sally Magnusson our compere for the evening, Sally then introduced Angela Constance – Minister for Youth Employment as our keynote speaker.  I have heard Ms Constance speak on many occasions but tonight seemed extra special as it was an event celebrating those who have put all the hard work in to making these apprenticeships work.  The first category was Small Employer, the one we were up for.  Sally read out the finalist names and a bit about each company, she then announced the winner, and it was us!!!  Our two Apprentices Sarah and Craig took to the stage to collect the award amidst a roar of applause.  Photo by Kieran Chambers Photography

We are absolutely delighted to win this award and is great recognition for the hard work that has been put into our Bright Futures Programme from everyone involved the apprentices, mentors, staff, trainers, inspirational speakers and many more, thank you everyone.  We would also like to thank all the Apprentices involved with the Bright Futures Programme, including those that have moved on from Bright Purple; Deonne Budge, Becki  Munro, Thomas Wilson and Lewis O’Connor.

Congratulations to all the winners there were some great and inspirational stories!

Photo by Kieran Chambers Photography

Comments from Craig Lamb – Apprentice – Bright Futures Programme

When I got asked to attend Scotland’s Modern Apprenticeship Awards I was honoured, the whole experience was like nothing I have ever done before. Sally Magnusson kicked off the event and explained to all the finalists what would happen throughout the evening. Bright Purple was in the category for the small employer’s award along with two other companies. When Sally Magnusson said “And the winner of Small Employers category is……BRIGHT PURPLE” there was a roar of joy from all five Bright Purple staff attending the event. Sarah and myself had to make the long walk to the stage were we had to collect the award, when we reached the stage we were handed the award and given a round of applause from the audience. It was a great evening a very successful one for Bright Purple.

Comments from Sarah Dougal – Apprentice – Bright Futures Programme

This time last year I was in 6th year at High school, unhappy and under confident with so many plans to kick start my career but no idea how to get there. I find it completely mind-blowing that myself and Craig attended the Apprenticeship Awards at the Glasgow Science Centre. Not only were we given the opportunity to attend this inspiring event we also picked up an award for the best Small Employer which myself and Craig went up to the stage to collect.

When Bright Purple was announced as the winner I was overcome by emotions. It was a reality check of how far all the apprentices and I have come and how dramatic and life changing the experiences we have been given have been. When I actually sat back and thought about everything we have achieved, being presented with the award last night made it all so worthwhile and highlighted how far we have come. I felt like all our hard work and determination had paid off and was recognised by so many people.

It was an amazing experience and one I know for certain I won’t forget. It was my first chance to attend Business Awards and I don’t want it to be the last. It just goes to show how much we have all changed and improved within less than a year. We knew what we wanted and, we got it.


I am Bright Purple – I was given the chance and I took it

(Sarah Dougal – Apprentice, Bright Futures Programme)

It may now be the end of the apprentice programme, but for me I feel it is only the beginning. Nick Price – CEO of Bright Purple took a massive chance on the 9th of January 2012, because that was the day he allowed six new employees into his Bright Purple company.

We weren’t just any new employees, we were six 17-19 year olds, with no real work experience, drive or confidence to succeed and perhaps at the beginning, the firm may have felt they had made the wrong decision or had bitten off more than they could chew. But I’m sure to their delight what a chance it was to prove their point and even if I do say so, it most definitely paid off for us all. The six ‘kids’ have transformed into success hungry, determined, confident business people and we owe it all to Bright Purple.

In the economic climate which Scotland is facing at moment the youth of today is struggling and the figures of youth unemployment are terrifyingly going through the roof and therefore facing being young, unemployed and feeling like you are stuck with no way out or anyway forward, can really scar a young person. It can knock their confidence like you wouldn’t believe and it can leave them feeling that being unemployed is all they can achieve in life. All we need is a break. We need people to trust us and give us our chance in life. We need experience to help get us on the career ladder…we need apprenticeships! If there were more apprenticeships like Bright Purple’s then I genuinely feel we would begin to see a difference in the youth unemployment rates. If people in business like Nick gave more youngsters the chance to show what we’re made of, perhaps the older generation would begin to see we really aren’t all thugs, violent and lazy.

Not only did Nick take a chance on me, but I also took a chance on Bright Purple. I was 17, at school, lacked self-belief and wasn’t sure what to do. I knew I wanted to start my career and I knew I wanted to start making my own money and yes I could see what I wanted, but lacked the ingredients to help me get there. I took a massive leap of faith to leave school, but was guided by DGM and was then given a boost by Bright Purple onto the career ladder and therefore I can thankfully say it was the best decision I have ever made.

We have been given mind blowing opportunities over the six months which I can easily say not many, if any people our age will have experienced. We have been given the chance to go and listen to inspirational people speak, such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus, who was unbelievably inspirational and most definitely left a long lasting impression on me.

We have been given the chance to present in front of inspirational entrepreneurs such as, Craig Paterson, Hera Hussain, Andrew Muirhead, Jennifer Cheyne, Carol Scrambler, Neil Francis and many more. Once again what 17-19 year olds can say they have presented in front of millionaires and amazing entrepreneurs?

I was also given the opportunity to attend a Youth Employment Convention at Dundee College which was something I most definitely benefited from, as it is a topic I feel extremely strongly about. Then my CEO Nick Price asked me to attend a Holyrood Apprenticeship event, but to my surprise I was then chosen to present at it! An unbelievably nerve racking experience where I presented to over 100 politicians and key speakers, but once I got up onto the stage  and conveyed my opinions about youth unemployment and how I feel apprenticeships are the way forward to solve the problem, I absolutely loved it! It was the turning point for me in the programme and it was the point where I realised just how far I had come and how much I had changed. It was the point where I realised that if I could do that, I could do anything I wanted to.

The opportunities don’t stop there as most recently my fellow apprentice Lewis and I were given the chance to speak on the radio station, Castle FM…yes me on the radio!! We were chosen to speak on Castle FM about our experiences as apprentices at Bright Purple, which I absolutely loved and was another hurdle which I can gladly say I leaped over with huge energy and positivity.

I have so many people to thank for this incredible opportunity. Firstly of course my CEO Nick Price and without Nick’s passion and stubborn desire to look at the potential of Scotland’s youth, I wouldn’t be here today and I most certainly would not be the new and improved Sarah! He has provided endless support and has never stopped believing in the apprentices, something every youngster needs. He is a completely inspirational person, a man who’s passion and determination is contagious. I cannot wait to continue working with him during my time at Bright Purple, but most importantly I can’t wait to continue learning more and more from him. Thank you Nick for this once in a life time opportunity I have not only been given, but earned.

Marielle Tweedie, Head of the Bright Futures Programme! ‘Superstar’ wouldn’t be generous enough words to describe her and Marielle along with Nick, took a chance on us and took huge pieces of time out of her resourcing role to help us on our journey of success and transformation. Marielle has stuck by us every inch of the way, filling us with knowledge and support. I know for a fact if it wasn’t for Marielle the six of us would have struggled, so I for one will be forever thankful.

And then there’s Alex Pullen, my mentor and if it wasn’t for Alex I know for sure my time at Bright so far would not have been as smooth as it has been. She is always there to reassure me and would do anything to make sure she helps me as much as she can. At Bright Purple Alex has been the person I can go to if I’m worried or stuck, but thankfully with Alex there are no negatives, only positives and so I never have a problem for long. Alex is incredible and I most definitely picked the lucky straw when I got her as my personal mentor. There are no words to describe how grateful I am. Thank you Alex!

And finally, last but not least my fellow apprentices.

I’m sure we will all agree that at the beginning we perhaps didn’t get off to the best of starts, putting six youngsters all around the same age together all at once? Of course clashes had to occur, as it was just like a big brother situation where we had all been put together with personalities like chalk and cheese, different opinions and different ways of doing things and we are all young, so of course we all thought our way was the best way. But I’m glad to say it didn’t last long and we settled our differences, came together and became stronger than ever. We began to complement each other and we became unbelievably supportive of one another.

To ‘the famous six’, I wish all of you all the luck in the world although I know you won’t need it as I know each and every one of you WILL successful in whatever you choose to do. Thank you all for being amazing Bright Purple Apprentices!!!

Although I have mentioned a few specific people, I should mention everyone at Bright Purple as they have all played a part in helping me on my journey at Bright Purple. I will now go on to be a resourcer in our permanent recruiting team and it’s my second day in the team, interviews are already coming my way, definitely time for me to experience some more Bright Purple success!

Six months ago I was a young, shy, inexperienced woman – look at me now, I am a Bright Purple Person.

 The best way to predict the future is to create it.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end”

(Marielle Tweedie – Head of Bright Futures Programme)

This week marks the last week of the Bright Futures Apprenticeship Programme and a 6 month journey for both the apprentices and I.  It seems not that long ago that I walked into the Academy to meet the new recruits and thought to myself what have I let myself in for. The young people who sat around that table in January were scared, unprofessional and looked like they had rolled in from a night out on the tiles or were from the cast of Geordie Shore (modern equivalent to Harry Enfield’s The Young Ones). The night before they started I had slept for an hour and I felt just as nervous as this was a new chapter in my career too.

The last 6 months have been filled with projects, speaker sessions, events, networking, training workshops, coursework, sales, teamwork, development and facing new challenges. The apprentice programme has been full on from day one and our apprentices have been thrown into the deep end. Something that I feel has allowed them to grow so much in such a short time.

With less than a week to go we have now announced to the business who will be staying at Bright Purple and continuing their career with us and who will be moving on to pastures new.  Tom and Becki have decided that sales is not for them and they are now pursuing new careers in the industries of banking and customer service. They already have a stack of interviews lined up with excellent organisations. DGM and I have been helping them with their preparation for these and it is amazing to see the confidence they are showing going into them. Working in recruitment has helped them to understand the importance of selling yourself, interview do’s and don’ts, standing out from the other candidates and more importantly how to make a lasting impression.  I truly believe that the skills they have learnt on the programme will help them for the rest of their careers in business and will act as a launch pad into the marketplace. As one door closes another opens and I have no doubt that Tom and Becki will be successful in life. The good thing about Bright Purple is that even though they are moving on our door will always be open to them.

For the apprentices that are staying the hard work starts here! When we announced to them who was being given a place they were eternally grateful and I have no doubt that going forward in their careers with us they will continue to build on their already massive list of achievements within the business. The apprentices that are staying with us are:

  • Lewis will work as a Trainee Resourcer in the Bright Purple contract team
  • Craig Lamb will continue to work in the International Resourcing team as a Trainee Resourcer
  • Sarah will work in the Permanent team as a Trainee Resourcer
  • Deonne will be doing an Office Junior role which will include providing Evolve support and  resourcing support to begin with

Congratulations to all the apprentices for finishing your apprenticeship with your heads held high and showing a fantastic work ethic and passion for Bright Purple until the very last day. On Thursday 12th July at lunchtime all the apprentices will be taking part in an Apprentice Graduation in The Academy at Bright Purple.  This will celebrate their achievements and I am delighted that all of them will be awarded their SVQ qualification.

The programme has been so packed and busy that I think it is important sometimes to take a step back and actually look at what we have done in such a small space of time. Tom and Becki put together some of the highlights on the programme and the skills that they have picked up. I think these show just some of the things they have learned and how we have helped them:

  • Newsletter– One of my greatest achievements at Bright Purple was being asked to be the News Editor of the apprentice newsletter. This involved reviewing the newsletter content, designing the layout and constructing the finished edition. This was an excellent opportunity for me to use my creative skills and show attention to detail.
  •  Customer Service– All of the projects I have taken part in has involved giving excellent customer service. I covered our busy reception and acted as a front of house, greeting visitors to the sales floor and assisting them. Whilst resourcing (calling candidates about job opportunities and finding out their information) I have shown an extremely professional and consciousness approach when speaking to candidates, both on the telephone and on a face to face basis.
  •  Database and Confidentiality– I have experience in cleaning, adding and sorting candidate and client information in large quantities on a Database (Evolve). Doing this means I have shown great attention to detail and I understand/ display the need for confidentiality when dealing with this critical data. While working on Evolve, I was given the task to cleanse over 7000 names to make the system run smoother. I also worked from a list of 77,000 names of duplicates, deleting and merging candidate records together.
  •  Pre Employment Screening (PES) – Working with Judit Czobor, our Operations Manager – PES & Contracts, I assisted in the PES area which involved checking candidate’s passport information, issuing contracts and extensions and updating records. This meant showing a high level of confidentiality and making sure the information is accurate and up to date.
  • Presentations – As part of the programme I have delivered business focused presentations to senior level individuals and large groups of 70+ people.  Some of the people I have presented to on a one to one basis include Craig Paterson (CEO of Football Aid), Jennifer Cheyne (Founder of Cheynes Hairdressers), Margaret Hassall (International CIO Corporate Commercial and Investment Banking at Bank of America), Gordon Samson (Managing Director at Williams Lea) and Chris Van Der Kuyl (Founder of Bright Solid). I was also given the amazing chance to meet the Nobel Peace Prize Winner Professor Mohammed Yunus.
  •  Communicating in the business environment– In all the projects I have undertaken I have had to communicate in a clear and concise manner using different tools such as email, meetings, calls to candidates and letters. On resourcing projects for our Lithuanian and Singaporean offices I have spoken with candidates from across the globe and sold them recruitment opportunities.
  • Working with DGM Training Consultants – DGM are the training provider for our SVQ Level 2 in Business Administration. The course is similar to a driving test; we had to do theory and practical work for several activities. E.g. we had to write up how we would present a presentation then we actually had to present.
  • Attended Networking Events – I attended several networking events which included the Power Lunch Club (which is for senior directors and CEO’s), the Inspiring Scotland Open Evening at The Mound and an Audience with Nobel Peace Prize Winner Professor Muhammad Yunus. During these I promoted the Bright Purple brand and acted as an ambassador for the company.
  •  Arranging Events – The apprentice team and I were responsible for arranging an open night for our family, friends, colleagues and members of the Edinburgh Business community. We organised every aspect of the night and also presented to an audience of 70+.
  • Writing Blogs – As part of the programme I read broadsheet newspapers and keep up to date with the marketplace through reading business news and watching television bulletins. I also write articles for our online blog.  The topics cover the apprentice programme, politics, youth employment, my journey and society.
  • Training – In my time at Bright Purple I have undertaken numerous training courses and workshops. These include; Communication in a business environment, Evolve Database Training, Recruitment Juice, I.T Demystified, Social Media as a business tool, Corporate Social Responsibility, Team skills, Resourcing, Confidentiality , Customer Services/ Quality Provision and Business Marketplaces.

As they say in life “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end” so there will be no tears on Friday (although I can’t vouch for Nick!!!) Working with the apprentices has been a fantastic opportunity. It has helped my learning and development and I think it has allowed me to grow as a person and become a young leader. Leading a team (especially one that is not used to an office environment!) has been a great learning curve and I have picked up new skills that I can bring back in to resourcing with me. It has taught me to be more assertive/ how to problem solve and how to motivate others. In addition it has been good to share my resourcing knowledge and the information I have picked up in my time at Bright Purple.  I know that next time we run the programme the “famous 6” will be able to do the same and help the next group of young people who come through the Academy doors. I am sure that in 10 years time they will be inspirational leaders who remember the importance of giving someone a chance.


The future’s bright and the future is definitely purple

(Marielle Tweedie – Head of Bright Futures Programme)

In Star Wars, Yoda tells us “the force is strong in you my young Jedi” and here at Bright Purple on our apprenticeship programme the force is strong in all our young people.

Today marks the start of National Apprenticeship Week when apprentices and employers across the UK celebrate the importance of offering young people opportunities in the work environment. With this celebration taking place and over 500 events planned up and down the country, what better a time than to talk about the success of our Bright Purple apprentices and the programme?

I would like to start by taking you back to Day 1 when Sarah, Lewis, Tom, Becki, Deonne, and Craig started with us. I remember walking into the Academy and thinking I had bitten off more than I could chew by agreeing to run the programme.  The 6 young people who sat in front of me were extremely quiet and when some of them did speak, it was a stream of conversation at 100 miles an hour that was more suitable for the pub on a Saturday night at kicking out time, rather than for an office environment. When I did ask them to take part in the projects I had planned out so meticulously they told me “they couldn’t do it”.  After three weeks I sat down on a Friday night looking at the timetable I had spent hours drafting for them and came to the conclusion that there would be no more “I can’t do this” on the programme. From that day forward I was going to challenge them, stop spoon feeding them and holding their hand on every task and get them to stand on their own two feet. That Friday was like a revelation for me.  After adopting the “tough love” stance things started to change. At first it was small things, like they took on board what I was saying about first impressions in the business environment by giving out firm handshakes and holding their heads high when they walked around the office. The “shouldnaes”, “likes”, “didnaes”, “hadnaes”, “couldnaes”, “buts” and colloquial language started to disappear. The biggest change however was in the apprentices’ confidence. By encouraging them to do the projects and adopting the new Dr Pepper motto of “how can you say you can’t do something if you don’t try it”, it opened up a new world of opportunities to the apprentices. I realised at that stage that it wasn’t just the scruffy hairstyles that had disappeared, the issues holding the apprentice back were finally gone.

I was also keen for them to adopt an entrepreneurial approach so asked them to come up with ideas to improve Bright Purple and make their mark on the business. By fuelling their creativity, encouraging them to face new challenges, not underestimating what they could achieve and fuelling their confidence I discovered this was a winning combination in terms of delivering successful business results.

The last few weeks I feel have really been the most rewarding on the programme because as a team we have been able to show senior management in the company that the programme is bringing real value to the business.  The apprentices have started resourcing for live roles and to date we have now had 3  deals within the apprentice team between Lewis and Craig. In just 2 months collective resourcing this is an amazing achievement.  Sarah has also secured 3 interviews in just one weeks resourcing – which is a Bright Purple record. In total the apprentices have secured 27 interviews. This is where the value of running the programme really comes in. It has been like a shock wave across the sales floor. Our experienced recruiters and resourcers are looking over at these young people who are propelling themselves up the ranks and thinking to themselves that they had better pull their socks up. There have been nights I have left the office at 8pm and the apprentices are the only people still at their desks working. They are extremely dedicated and loyal to Bright Purple and because we have given them such great opportunities- such as meeting Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Mohammed Yunus they have told me they would like to repay our faith and belief in them.

On Friday I really saw how far they have come. Freya (Nick’s daughter) and her friend Caitlin came in on work experience and Deonne planned an interesting and jam packed day of events for them. The other apprentices also helped the girls and it was extremely interesting to watch as the programme had in essence gone full circle. Bright Purple had helped the apprentices and now they were helping their peers. The apprentices passed on the information they have learned in relation to recruitment, how to qualify candidates, how to present, what makes a good recruiter and sales techniques. For me, it was a really great thing to see. The apprentices are also taking part in a session with young people from the Citadel Youth Centre in Edinburgh soon. This will include things like a cv workshop, how recruitment works, tips and hints for navigating the employment market and the importance of first impressions. It will be designed and delivered by the apprentices to other young people and again I think this shows how far they have come and the positive impact they are having not only at Bright Purple but in the wider community.

Personally, running the programme has been a real learning curve for me and I feel it is not only the apprentices who have grown as individuals. For the first time, I have been given the opportunity to essentially head up a team of 6 people and it has helped me develop my relationship management and team skills. The apprenticeship programme has helped me as I have personally developed as a business person and have also had to face challenges over the 4 months.

The highlight for me has been the support and help that I have had from external companies and business individuals. Our speaker sessions have been invaluable and I am extremely grateful to the business leaders and people who have taken the time to meet the apprentices and share their advice with them.

In particular I would like to say a special thanks to Gordon Dow, the founder of the Power Lunch Club. He has worked religiously to help our apprentices through inviting them to the Power Lunch Club Sessions, highlighting the programme to business people and securing press and media coverage for the apprentices.  I am so grateful to have someone like Gordon to help us as he is so passionate about helping the young people and he has been a “Bright Purple Apprenticeship Knight” and a true crusader for helping the apprentices to grow through the opportunities he has invited them to. The apprentices email and speak to Gordon on a weekly basis and I think the greatest thanks that we can give Gordon is that they now see him as a friend.

Having Monica and Caroline from DGM Training onboard with the programme has been excellent. They have not only worked extremely hard with the apprentices and contributed massively to the positive change in them but have also acted as mentors for me. When I have needed a second opinion or guidance I have asked these wonderful ladies for help. They have not only helped me with the day to day running of the programme but have also offered me support with the challenges along the way.  With apprenticeships being a hot topic, there are numerous training providers out there on the market. However, what sets DGM out from the rest of them is their commitment to young people. They don’t see the apprentices as statistics or an opportunity to hit their training quota, they take the time to understand the young people and also Bright Purple as a business. They are constantly in touch with me and the apprentices and have been a fantastic and exceptionally professional team. For the hard work that they have put into the programme and the personal help they have given me I am truly grateful.

And what does the future entail for our apprentices and the programme? The 1st June will be the biggest challenge I face in terms of being the head of the apprenticeship scheme here at Bright Purple. This is the date that I must decide the fate of who will stay with us and be offered full time sales roles and who will move on to pastures new. Already some of the apprentices have come forward to say that their career aspirations lie outside of sales and DGM will begin working with them to help them secure a role outside of Bright Purple. Even for the young people who leave us at the end of June they have still had an invaluable platform and springboard into the business world and employment market through taking part in the programme.

Neil Francis visited the apprentices last week and something he said has stuck with me. Neil told the apprentices to finish the programme with their heads held high and give 110% in effort until the final day, regardless of what the future holds after the end of June. This is something both they and I will be doing – the last couple of days on the programme will be filled with enthusiasm and will be a celebration, we are also having an Apprentice Graduation to celebrate their success. No matter who stays with us and who goes I will never forget the “famous 6” and the time I have spent with them.

Yoghurt can change the world!

(Deonne Budge – Apprentice, Bright Futures Programme)

The Apprentices along with Marielle Tweedie (Head of the Bright Futures Programme), Emma Hill (Mentor/Resourcer) and Amanda Jeffery (Marketing and Social Media Manager) were given the opportunity by Nick Price (CEO) to meet Professor Muhammad Yunus at the Royal College of Physicians. At first I didn’t really know what to expect because I had never been to an event like this before.

We heard from Josh Littlejohn (Owner of Capital Events) who had been motivated by Professor Yunus and his various concepts. Josh raised £96K from holding a recent event called The Scottish Business Awards, which took place on 23rd of Feb 2012. The money will go towards the launch of the Grameen Scotland Foundation, which aims to raise an initial £1 million to set up the Scottish branch of the Grameen Bank – the first in Europe.

Professor Yunus started a social business called Grameen Danone. A social business means whatever money you make from selling your product goes right back into the business to keep it running. Professor Yunus doesn’t take money out of the company. He started off by adding vitamin A to the yogurts to help the young children in Bangladesh stay strong and get what they needed to stay alive. His experts worked out that the children had to eat 2 yogurts a week to get the nutrients that they needed. Professor Yunus sold this product for less than one penny to people in rural villages.

He was so successful with this social business he started to look at other health problems in Bangladesh. He discovered that many villagers suffered from “night blindness” caused by malnutrition and lack of vitamin A. He spoke to a doctor and asked what needed to be done to stop this, the doctor suggested vegetables which contain vitamin A. Professor Yunus decided to sell small bags of seeds to the people in Bangladesh that were cheap enough so they could start planting and growing their own vegetables. As the villagers started to consume more vegetables their sight improved significantly.

The thing that inspired me the most with Professor Yunus is that when a problem arises he works hard to solve it. His social business was so successful he then looked at helping people in other countries across the world. He saw that there was a need to create a social business network in the USA. He started the US version of the Grameen Bank in New York. The bank gives out small cash loans to groups of women who would struggle to get a loan from a traditional bank.  The women form groups to self regulate paying the loan back. The interest rate is a tiny percentage and it stops women from going to loan sharks to get money.

After his presentation at the Royal College of Physicians we went to the Cameo Cinema to watch his documentary ‘To Catch a Dollar’.  It was amazing to see how all the women that received the loans were so grateful and happy to be able to get the money which helped set up or grow their business. Having the opportunity to meet someone as inspiring as Professor Yunus made me think more about wanting to make a difference. I left at the end of the day feeling extremely inspired and couldn’t wait to talk about his story.

The main thing I thought after listening to Professor Yunus was he really inspired not just me but everyone he meets.  He has influenced so many people across the globe. Now I want inspire people just like he inspires everyone and I would love to make a difference whether it be with old or young people. When I finish my apprenticeship at Bright Purple I will know that I have made a difference and inspired people and this will be the best feeling in the world.

My motto is: “Be inspired, Inspire people”

My confidence grows weekly – how far can I go?

(Deonne Budge – Apprentice, Bright Futures Programme)

Tuesday 21st February and I had an excellent opportunity to meet a most inspiring person in Craig Paterson, Founder and Chairman of FootballAid. We presented to Craig and it seems to get more natural every time I stand up there to talk. It is great to see how much we have all come along in the past 8 weeks at Bright Purple, Bright Futures Programme. The confidence has grown not just in me but everyone taking part in the programme.

Craig Paterson’s journey inspired me. He has achieved huge success in business and managed to get so far, at such a young age, just like the man himself Nick Price.

I have learned so much just from listening and speaking with Craig. He started as a trainee in a variety of jobs pasting bill boards, lorry driving, disk jockeying and delivering toilet seats to owning, running and eventually selling his own business, Melville Craig.

I have come away from meeting Craig feeling more inspired than before. Each day at Bright Purple is always a challenge and while you never know what is round the corner, I am more and more driven to do well in life.

Having the opportunity to meet Craig and other senior business people in the weeks ahead and being invited by my CEO to join the other apprentices to meet the great Professor Yunus, “Banker to the Poor” very soon in Edinburgh, is not something that everyone will ever say they can and have achieved. For myself I don’t think many people at the age of 17 have had to opportunity to present and ask questions to as many senior people from the business world and get a picture to remind you of these great experiences.

Craig has also given us the chance to email him with any questions, which for me is a great opportunity. One of the questions we asked Craig is if we could come along and help him with events. This is also an excellent chance to see exactly what he does and how hard he works at running and making sure FootballAid is consistently performing.