English Cymraeg
English Cymraeg



November 2016

Sophie Wins Award at WorldSkills UK

ISA apprentice Sophie Hendy returned from the weekend’s WorldSkills UK finals in Birmingham with a special prize.

Although she did not win the hairdressing competition, she became the first recipient of an award presented in memory of Sue Bleasdale, a prominent World Skills Hairdressing judge who sadly passed away in October.

The judges said: “This award is presented to a competitor who presents the following qualities that Sue was passionate about: being part of a team, displaying empathy and kindness, qualities that will set the students up for life.”

Sophie, 20, who lives in West Shore, Llandudno and works for Tommy’s Hair Company in the town, was one of eight finalists in the hairdressing final, which comprised five different tests over three days at the Skills Show at the NEC.

“Whilst winning the competition would have been great, I was honoured to receive this special award which reflects on how I am as a person,” she said. “It was a good experience to push myself and be part of a team. It was also nice to have the support of each other because all the finalists got on really well.

“I went into the competition not expecting to win because I had not done anything like that before. I wanted to go and have fun, get feedback from the judges and improve. The judges said my work was good but needed a few tweaks. They liked my colours and encouraged me to enter the L’Oréal Rising Star competition next year.

“I’m going to enter as many competitions as I can because I love being creative. I would love to get to the WorldSkills UK final again next year.”

Sophie, who thanked Tommy’s Hair Company, ISA Training, her family and friends for their support, had been practising non-stop since qualifying for the final. As she and her boyfriend, Andrew Wynne-Jones, are in the process of converting a spare bedroom in their home into a living room, she decided to put it to good use in the meantime as a practise salon complete with a stand for her dolls heads and hair products. Weekends were taken up with more practise sessions with training mentor Adrienne Chick in Llanelli.

“We are absolutely thrilled that one of our apprentices has become the first winner of the Sue Bleasdale Memorial Award,” said Berni Tyler, ISA Training’s managing director. “We have always known that Sophie has all of the qualities associated with the award and are delighted that the judges have recognised this too.”

Jane Hughes, training manager at Tommy’s Hair Company, congratulated Sophie on her success. “She’s really dedicated to her training, very creative and good at promoting the services we offer at Tommy’s Hair Company,” she said. “Everyone at the salon is delighted by her success.”