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‘It is much more than doing an apprenticeship, it’s learning about life’ – Crannog Centre

LISTEN: Toby, Daisy and Izzie share how life changing their past year has been

One nerve wracking day in August 2020, an enthusiastic group of young people arrived at The Scottish Crannog Centre, ready to start their apprenticeship and although excited to get started, some of the group were nervous to even introduce themselves.

Now almost a year later, the group are entirely different.

Daisy is 17 years old and from a quick mumbled introduction in those early days, she now laughs loudly and chats happily with her co-workers – who she now refers to as family – reminiscing as to what brought them to the Crannog Centre and what they have learned since.

Daisy said:

“I was a fourth-year leaver, and I had no idea what I wanted to do.

“It’s made me realise how smart I am.

“I didn’t do well at school, but this has brought me out in other areas that school doesn’t really prepare you for.

Izzie – who Daisy lovingly refers to as being like her ‘annoying little sister’ added:

“I was at sixth form in York and all my friends were really excited to go to uni. I didn’t want to do it so I applied for this and I got it! I moved up here with family friends and now I do want to go to uni but through distance learning and study experimental archelogy and I’m actually doing a course at the moment in archaeology.

“Being here since August has set me up for life.

Another apprentice – Toby – is on a different apprenticeship, handling the museums social media and while he can learn all about Iron Age history and interact with guests, he is gaining key experience in managing a company online and running a business website.

The key skills the group are learning will translate into real skills that will benefit them as they go forward in life.

A familiar face to visitors to the Crannog Centre is Graham who pays tribute to the apprentice’s hard work and dedication.

Graham said:

“Ten months ago, when they introduced themselves – they couldn’t even say their name and they were to speak to the public and look at them now.

“They really are brilliant.

“These guys started in August – we kept them working right through to December then went into lockdown.

Graham joked:

“Our director was saying we are going to lose them all – we didn’t (unfortunately).

“These are some of the most resilient, inspirational young people…I’m going to cry now…that you will ever ever meet.

“They are dealing with it better than I am.

“I’m completely in awe of them to be honest.

“It is much more than doing an apprenticeship, its learning about life in a tougher way than most.

“Most apprenticeships wouldn’t be like this to be honest, so anyone who wants to do an apprenticeship, come to the Crannog Centre and become part of the family!”

Despite recent sad news of the fire at the Crannog Centre, it’s clear that the team there is much more than co-workers, they are family, lovingly referring to each other as ‘besties’.

The group have managed to turn a difficult year into a learning experience that will remain with them for life and a group of friends and community that will support them too.

Daisy concluded by thanking the community for the support after the fire at the Crannog Centre:

“We’re just thankful for all the support after the incident that happened. We’re just very thankful for all the donations and good wishes.”

Anyone looking to support the centre can go to: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/scottishcrannogcentre-fire-fund

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