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Brend Academy Apprenticeship Awards 2023

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On October 10th, we celebrated the dedication and commitment of our newly qualified apprentices at the annual Brend Academy's Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony 2023.

Hosted at The Park Hotel in Barnstaple, the award ceremony marked the achievement of an impressive 20 apprentices who have qualified this year, with many qualifying with an overall distinction. This year saw a number of apprentices gain their qualifications in a range of academy programmes including Level 2, 3 and 4. 

The winner of this year's Peter Brend Apprentice of the Year Award for 2023 was awarded to Darcie Downs, Events Manager at The Barnstaple Hotel.

Event for Apprentices in Barnstaple

Splitting her time between the Events team and the Restaurant at The Barnstaple Hotel, Darcie has worked for the Brend Collection since 2021. When an opportunity arose to take the reins managing events in 2022, Darcie jumped at the chance. 

Darcie on her career progression with the Brend Collection, in her own words: 

"I have been lucky enough to work in various departments at The Barnstaple Hotel as well as the opportunity to learn from people who work in other hotels and areas of the business. The great thing about the company is that there is always a knowledgeable person to help you and that you can learn from.

The Barnstaple Hotel offers a variety of different functions including weddings, proms and Christmas parties so it's given me great experience. The knowledge and experience that I have learnt during my time at The Barnstaple Hotel has not only helped me progress, but also given me the confidence to expand my role."   Darcie Downs, Events Manager

Darcie successfully gained a Level 3 Events Assistant qualification over an 18-month period whilst working full time at The Barnstaple Hotel.


"We had a huge shortlist to choose from when it came to the "Peter Brend Apprentice of The Year" awards, but Darcie stood out with her dedication & efforts that resulted in her being promoted into an even wider role within the company during her apprenticeship journey! Well done to Darcie & all of our award winners: we couldn't be more proud of them! "  Matthew Brend, Director

Apprentice at the Barnstaple Hotel presented Award

Adlina Melusca - Carlyon Bay Hotel
Bethany Gough - The Imperial Hotel
Irina Nistor - Carlyon Bay Hotel
Jacob Webb - The Park Hotel
Kerry Parkin - The Imperial Hotel
Tony Stacey - The Victoria and The Belmont Hotels

Arron Holwell - Devon Hotel
Ben Hawkes - Devon Hotel
Courtney Davis - Devon Hotel 
David McClean Thorne - The Imperial Hotel
Lucy Warne - Carlyon Bay Hotel

Charmaine Featherstone - The Park Hotel
Francesca Du Cros - The Park Hotel (pictured right)

Darcie Downs - The Barnstaple Hotel (Apprentice of the Year 2023)

Emily Sanders - The Barnstaple Hotel
George Prosser - Carlyon Bay Hotel
Jamie Pearce - The Imperial Hotel
Kathryn Hallett - The Victoria and The Belmont Hotels

Grace Nash - Carlyon Bay Hotel

Marie Woolacott - The Park Hotel

Hit training session for Apprentices


Following the ceremony, the apprentices were treated to a delicious cream tea, before heading back to their hotels with their certificates and pin.

If you are looking for a new challenge, and to develop your skill set, our Brend Academy might just be what you are looking for. Our Vacancies Page is regularly updated. 

In addition to the great training and career progression opportunities available, we offer a range of exciting Employee Benefits, including up to 50% discount when you stay at one of our Brend Collection hotels so that you can enjoy a little luxury for less. 


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