It's definitely awards season! The nominations in recognition of Futures' amazing team members keep rolling in.

This month, Darren Mullins has been shortlisted for the Housing Heroes' Apprentice of the Year award. The finals for this national award, sponsored by Inside Housing, will be held in October. Futures has also been shortlisted for the Apprentice Employer of The Year at the DerbyshireLive Business Awards. We're so proud of all our apprentices and being nominated for awards really helps us celebrate the amazing work of all our apprentices. 

We wanted to share a bit more about Darren's story, so here's a case study of our very own Apprentice of the Year nominated candidate - Darren Mullins!

Darren is a property maintenance operative and also one of our apprentices. He is currently undertaking multi-trade level 2 qualification, which means learning everything from carpentry and joinery through to painting and decorating, plastering, tiling, roofing and brickwork.

Darren secured a place as an apprentice at Futures after getting help from our employability team. Older than most apprentices (now 35 – which isn’t old at all!), he had been pushed back by several organisations who favoured apprentices in the younger age group and was excited to join Futures.
Darren met Sylvia from our employability team at Alfreton job centre when he was looking for work. Sylvia linked up Darren with a repairs’ team member to discuss the different options available and shortly after he secured an apprenticeship.
Before starting his apprenticeship, Darren was caring for his younger brother who has ADHD and autism. This was challenging and starting an apprenticeship gave him the chance to try something new.
Unfortunately, while studying, Darren sadly lost his mum which was obviously very difficult for him. Darren’s mum was a Futures' customer, and he took responsibility for the property after that.
Darren’s journey hasn’t been without its challenges but ultimately it has been life-changing for him. Once Darren completes his level 2, he wishes to progress to a trade apprenticeship and hopefully become an electrician. He wants to stay at Futures as he loves the people and culture. He enjoys going to customer’s homes and doing repairs and working with customers is something he enjoys.