FORGET April showers - the future’s all about April’s Flowers.
Take a bow April Bell a Sheffield teenager who has been named Skillsmart Retail Apprentice of the Year.
April, who works at Monica F Hewitt florists in the city, scooped top prize at the Skillsmart Retail Rising Stars Awards, held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
The 17-year-old of Hillsborough, beat off tough competition to win the title and was awarded her trophy by Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis.
Theo said: “Winning the Apprentice of the Year Award is a massive achievement. The competition was of a very high standard and April is a great example of the drive, commitment, enthusiasm and sheer passion required to make it in retail.
“April shows every sign of becoming one of tomorrow’s retail leaders and I look forward to seeing her develop her career in what I believe to be the most dynamic and exciting industry.”
Judges noted April’s passion for floristry and development over her apprenticeship, particularly her confidence and the improvements she had implemented in the shop.
April said: “I am so happy and excited I have won - it was completely unexpected.
“I love my job and feel I have learnt so much over the course. I left school early and I’ve always felt a bit shy about the skills I have. I was nervous going back to learning, but I’ve loved every minute of it.
“My confidence has really grown and the chance to study English and maths using more practical examples and learn about how to run a retail business as well, all whilst working, has been fantastic.”
The former Ecclesfield and Yewlands School girl also met a whole host of MPs.
“I was lucky enough to have a look around the House of Parliament as a guest of David Blunkett,” she said.