Isle News, 22 July 2009 – Aaron Kelly has won the first ever ‘Sure Apprentice’ competition.
The seventeen year old Ballakermeen High School student has won himself an apprenticeship with the telecoms company after impressing judges over the last academic year.
After being interviewed and put through to the final of the ‘Sure Apprentice’ by Ruth Badger, a former finalist in the real-life BBC show ‘The Apprentice’, Aaron went head to head with co-finalist Robyn Sayers, with both of them having to organise a charity event for ‘Wish Upon A Dream’.
Aaron, who suffers from seasickness, chose to make two return ferry trips between the Isle of Man and Liverpool, negotiating with the Steam Packet company to let him travel for free. He completed the journeys dressed as a pink fairy, the charity’s emblem! Whilst onboard, he ran four raffles and took a collection whilst speaking to passengers on a one-on-one basis about the work of ‘Wish Upon A Dream’. Aaron’s event raised more than £1,700.
Robyn, who is also 17, chose to host an evening of musical entertainment with authentic Indian cuisine at Broadway Baptist Church in Douglas. She organised a wide variety of entertainers to perform on the night including the ‘Young Musician of Mann’ Meghan Quane, guild class winners Simon Lynch and Bryony Grant and folk group ‘Ben Vanninagh’, as well as several other classical, jazz and modern musicians. She served an authentic Indian meal, during which guests watched a slideshow charting the work of ‘Wish Upon A Dream’ so far in the Isle of Man.
Robyn’s event raised just over £1,600. The combined total of nearly £3,500 raised by Robyn and Aaron will help the charity to grant wishes for children and young people in the Isle of Man who suffer from severe and life-limiting illnesses.
Commenting on the outcome of the ‘Sure Apprentice’ final, Sure’s Country Manager, Mike Stanton, commented: “Both Robyn and Aaron should be incredibly proud of reaching the final. They have both demonstrated confidence beyond their years, as well as a willingness to learn and a determination to succeed. I would like to congratulate Aaron and look forward to welcoming him to the Sure team.”
Judge, journalist Joanne Clague, commented: “The events organised by both Robyn and Aaron were both very different, yet both incredibly successful. To raise more than £3,500 for charity is very commendable and they should both be very proud of what they have learned and achieved.
“Aaron has really blossomed during the last academic year, demonstrating he has a very practical nature and a hunger to succeed. An apprenticeship with Sure will only enhance his confidence and give him a unique insight into the corporate world which he has never before experienced.”
Fellow judge, Geoff Corkish MBE MHK, commented: “I would like to commend Robyn and Aaron on their events and the enormous commitment invested to make them such a success. Robyn demonstrated that she is able to delegate, stay calm under pressure and use her network of existing contacts to good effect.
“Aaron has impressive organisational skills, being able to entertain a captive audience for hours at a time, negotiate deals and make new contacts. Nothing phases him, including dressing as a fairy or testing himself against the threat of seasickness, and his entrepreneurial spirit will be a valuable asset to Sure.
“Both candidates should be very proud of themselves and are an asset to Ballakermeen High School.”