This is why 17-year-old Lily won national award, weeks after beginning her Saturday job at Sheffield florist

Lily Proctor has proven she isn't afraid of hard work.

Tuesday, 28th May 2019, 12:29 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd June 2019, 11:49 am
Lucy Ashton and her 'Saturday girl' Lily Proctor

The 17-year-old Sheffield girl has been named ‘Newcomer of the Year by national organisation, Florismart, just weeks after becoming a ‘Saturday girl’ at The Dandelion Clock, in Fulwood.

Dandelion Clock owner Lucy Ashton contacted Family Buzz to tell us how proud she is of Lucy, following the launch of our ‘Time to Shine' segment earlier this year, which sees us recognising the achievements of Sheffield’s youngsters - big and small.

Lucy revealed: “Lily came to me just before Mother's Day, which is the single busiest week of the year for me, so I was glad of the help. The work isn't glamorous, it’s hard and physical, but Lily really got stuck in. She worked with me, serving customers, taking payments, stripping foliage, cutting stems, and filling endless buckets of water.

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“She worked so hard and learned super-quick. She’s calm, good with customers, bright, funny and has loads of common sense, and so I took her on as my Saturday girl after that - she showed her skills and value immediately."

Each week Lily picked up more technical skills – helping out with everything from arrangements to the construction of wedding buttonholes.

Lucy said: “She has a very natural talent with flowers, and also understands the value of a cuppa and a giggle.”

It was during one of these chats that Lily opened up to Lucy about her dyslexia. She revealed she’d gotten really low grades in her GCSEs, and had struggled in a school full of academic high-achievers where she felt the teachers weren't interested in her. She lost confidence and direction.

Lucy said: “She also confessed that she was really relieved not to be asked to show her CV when she came to me to ask for work as she feels embarrassed about her qualifications. Our chat made me cry.

“I was inspired to nominate her for this competition, not only because of her skills and great attitude, but because she battled obstacles during her education and has now found her niche; I think she makes a great role model for stressed out young people struggling to fit into the traditional academic role. I hope that any other young people battling their way through exams recognise that there are many other routes to take if academic studies are a struggle.

“I am so proud of Lily. Her enthusiasm and the speed at which she has developed her floristry skills is inspiring.

“I kept the nomination a secret from Lily, and when I showed her she had won, it was so utterly lovely to see her face light up. What a really great thing to have on that CV she was once so ashamed of.”

Time To Shine…

Family Buzz launched ‘Time to Shine’ earlier this year to celebrate our city’s young people. As the mum of a five-year-old I know how much every swimming badge, ‘Star of the Week,’ and beautiful handmade artwork means. Email details and a photo to [email protected] to give them their moment in the spotlight.