Adam Hubberd has been announced as the very first winner of The Lely UK NVQ Level 2 Technician Award.
This special award was set up in memory of Laurence Moody, a 19-year-old apprentice at the turf maintenance and agricultural machinery distributor's St Neots HQ, who tragically died in a car accident in November 2008.
Laurence - like his fellow student and friend Adam, also 19 and from St Neots - was on apprenticeship at Lely as part of his City & Guilds NVQ Level 2 in Service Engineering (Groundcare Machinery) at Writtle College in Chelmsford, Essex, when the accident occurred. A promising and popular apprentice, Lely's training manager Ian Sumpter established this new award to recognise and reward the best NVQ Level 2 student technician in his honour.
Ian worked with Writtle College lecturer Scott Clark to select the most promising student technician of 2009. Although an independent scheme open to students at any turf or agricultural company participating in the NVQ apprentice programme, Adam's hard work and positive attitude in spite of his close friend's death shone through and he was chosen as the deserved inaugural winner.
He accepted his award at this year's IOG Saltex show in Windsor, with Laurence's parents, Debbie and Nigel Moody, plus brother Nathan, by his side. "I feel really privileged to win this award as Laurence was a very close friend of mine," he reveals. "I'd like to thank Laurence's family for being here to give the award their blessing, as well as Lely and my college for supporting me in my studies."
Ian and Scott also created a special runner's-up prize this year to reward Andy Simmonds for his achievements. The 20-year-old from Chesham in Buckinghamshire overcame some initial difficulties through sheer hard work and determination to succeed in both this stage of his ongoing NVQ studies as well as his apprenticeship at George Brown's Implements Limited, an agricultural machinery company in his area.
"Congratulations to both Adam and Andy on their hard work and commitment," Ian concludes. "Laurence is fondly remembered here at Lely - he was quite a character and really knuckled down during his all too short time with us as an apprentice technician to show real promise and dedication. I wanted to do something positive after his untimely death and hope this award scheme will be a fitting tribute this year and in years to come."
From 2010, the Lely NVQ Level 2 Technician Award will be awarded to students on the Apprenticeship of Land Based Service Engineering course at South Worcestershire College's Evesham Campus (formerly known as Evesham College) following the cancellation of the Writtle College course.
Toro commercial turf maintenance products are distributed throughout mainland UK by Lely (UK) Limited, 1 Station Road, St Neots, PE19 1QH. Call 01480 226800, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.lely.co.uk or www.toro.com for further details.
Photo caption: Adam Hubberd, centre, receives the Lely Level 2 Technician Award in memory of Laurence Moody from, to his right, Laurence's parents Debbie and Nigel Moody and brother Nathan, with, from left, Writtle College lecturer Scott Clark, Lely's training manager Ian Sumpter and runner-up Andy Simmonds.