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Apprentice designs ‘little’ mementos

30th January 2015

Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) student Ellen Wiltshaw has made the New Vic seasonal show truly memorable for this year’s cast.

Apprentice designs ‘little’ mementos

Ellen, 20, from Talke, a Level 2 Retail Apprentice has designed and produced a unique set of badges which were given to the cast of the latest show as a surprise for all the hard work and effort that has gone in to producing another successful show at the New Vic.

The extravagant seasonal show this year was an adaption of Mary Norton’s family classic ‘The Borrowers’. Ellen’s badges depicted The Borrowers in a commission that started with her work going on sale at the College’s MADE Here shop.

Ellen said: “It’s been a great experience for me to be able to provide the theatre with some unique mementos for the cast to remember their performance this year. The badges take inspiration from all the little things that The Borrowers make out of everyday objects and so have led to some interesting and fun designs.”

Situated opposite Newcastle’s Guild Hall, the MADE Here shop sells a variety of gifts and artwork produced by College students and local artists. Working as a Retail Apprentice for the last four months Ellen has helped with the day to day running of MADE Here along with spending one day a week in College studying for her qualification.

Lucy Hinton, MADE Here Manager said: “This was a great opportunity for one of our learners to be involved in such a creative project from a top local theatre. Ellen has designed some wonderful creations and she should be very proud of what she has produced.”

Apprenticeships are becoming increasingly more popular as a method of study in the United Kingdom with440,000 people in 2013-14 choosing to start an apprenticeship programme. NULC’s own apprenticeship programme has become increasingly more popular over the last few years achieving an 83% success rate amongst 16-18 year olds in 2013-14, much higher than the national rate. The college has also unveiled its own job shop ‘the Workshop’, specialising in helping young people find apprenticeships, traineeships and part-time work.

The College will hold its next open event for prospective students on Thursday 12th March 2015 between 5:30 and 8:00pm. The event is open to current year 11 students looking at A-levels, vocational subjects and apprenticeships. Visitors can beat the queues by pre-registering online at


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