Jonathan Levy

Jonathan Levy shortlisted for apprentice of the year

May 17, 2015 | Nick Taylor

We are pleased to announce that our colleague Jonathan Levy has been shortlisted as apprentice of the year at the Warrington Business Awards. He is down to the last three for what is a very competitive awards category .

The winner will be announced on Friday 12 June 2015 at a glittering black tie reception at Lymm Rugby Club.

The Apprentice of the Year category is sponsored by Bibby Financial and managed by the Ab Fab Event company. The two judges are David Briggs, Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire and founder of Cheshire Connect and Andy Farrall, Executive Director of Economic Regeneration at Warrington Borough Council.

Jonathan Levy is a young man who has made a remarkable impact since taking on a role of apprentice at the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace.

Nick Taylor, Chief Executive said: “I first encountered him through a letter when he asked if he could come and see me to ‘pitch’ an idea.

“The meeting was a delight as he not only brought an idea, but a whole business case for why he should be employed as an apprentice.

“He had researched a scheme operated by another charity enabling him to study fund raising through a structured education process. I gave him his opportunity even though I was yet to be convinced about how local fund raising could benefit the charity.”

The Foundation for Peace is primarily funded by commissioners and large scale grants. Jonathan had a hard act to follow in that previous attempts had not worked and had not brought any investment.

Jonathan embarked on a structured apprenticeship during which time he has studied fund raising techniques and theory and continued his education. He has made a huge impact restructuring fund raising around a whole new system and process that builds donor relations through innovative initiatives. The results have been instant with Jonathan covering his own costs and starting to build a base.

But this isn’t the full story. Jonathan does this whilst triumphing over adversity. He has the condition dyspraxia, but sees this not as a challenge but as an attribute and has turned this to his advantage. Not only has he become active in the national Foundation for dyspraxia but has become a key ambassador and appeared in the likes of a Channel 4 documentary showing how he manages the condition as part of his life and work.

He is also a major part of Warrington and has a passion for politics and during the time of his apprenticeship served as the Chair of the regional Conservative Futures organisation, worked in the local MPs office. He stood as a candidate in the May local council elections and is very active as a parish councillor and at district level.

Given my reticence about the impact the role could achieve, he has had to work hard to put in place processes and systems and to prove his case. He put a huge effort into constructing a business case for an IT tool he required to support his work and this was agreed and has proved successful.

His ’thirst’ for continued education is remarkable. He uses a hashtag #levyloveslearning and is often to be found watching webinars, attending ‘extra-curricula’ events to further his learning. Some of this he funds himself! He has developed himself quite a personal profile in social media and achieves a very high score and so is influencing many others. He is a formidable networker and education is absolutely integral to how he operates. It is no surprise that he has been selected by the Institute of Fundraising to be one of their key volunteers at their annual events in London. Neither is it surprising that he gained all his apprenticeship qualifications. But perhaps it is the little touches he has brought such as sending personal ‘valentine cards; to our key donors and volunteers – the response was overwhelmingly positive – most charities, even large ones, don’t offer the innovative touches he has brought to the Foundation.

Nick Taylor continues: “I started my career aged 16 and I am now 35 years into it, but have never met anyone who is so tenacious, resilient, and determined as Jonathan to achieve.

“He is ambitious and a great personal advert for apprenticeships.

“Not just this – he is Warrington and his local area, Appleton, through and through – absolutely passionate about the area, town and borough and all his waking hours are dedicated to his work, his politics and campaigning around issues to do with dyspraxia.

“I therefore believe Jonathan is an amazing candidate for the Warrington Apprentice of the Year and give him all our best wishes for the awards night.”