Celebrating Success: Neil's Story

Neil McLean, an employee at physical activity charity Active Lancashire, is currently studying a Level 4 Market Reasearch Executive apprenticeship with Swarm Training.

Neil, who has struggled with his mental wellbeing, has recently passed his Functional Skills Qualification in mathematics, a fantastic achievement that showcases his hard work and dedication to completing his apprenticeship whilst working full time and juggling family life.

His line manager Callum Webster, Research and Insight Officer at Active Lancashire said that, “Neil has always had a good aptitude for the work he does, he is a hard, detail-orientated worker and is a pleasure to line manage.

“Myself and the rest of the team are proud of Neil’s achievement, and how he has been able to gain his Functional Skills in maths whilst working, studying, and looking after his young children at home. We’re happy to support Neil in gaining his apprenticeship, and look forward to seeing the rest of his journey!”

Neil began working with Active Lancashire as a participant on their Challenge Through Sport Initiative project, which works with those suffering from addiction, poor mental wellbeing and trauma, and provides support through a combination of physical activity and one-to-one provision. After gaining support from Active Lancashire and the CSI team to improve his mental wellbeing, Neil became employed as a support worker on the project.

Neil’s interest in data and insight grew during his employment at Active Lancashire, where he began to provide some administrative support for the Research and Insight team. From here, Neil was signposted to SWARM where he was able to enrol into the apprenticeship, enabling him to begin pursuing his career goals.

Neil initially struggled with time management, and felt overwhelmed trying to balance his work, home and educational life. Both Active Lancashire and SWARM supported Neil in developing an actionable plan that would enable him to manage his workload and home life.

Neil’s course workshops were split into weekly sessions instead of monthly, and his assignments were broken down into more manageable chunks. Feeling supported, Neil started to gain his motivation back.

As part of apprenticeship requirements, Neil had to complete a Functional Skills Qualification in mathematics before he could progress to the final stage of the course; Neil felt that this presented additional difficulties as he had struggled with mathematics during school. Neil’s tutor, Siobhan Smith, was able to support Neil in accessing one-to-one mathematics tutoring through SWARM and provided him with self-study materials and mock tests which quickly saw Neil’s knowledge and confidence increase.

Neil went on to pass his qualification in April 2024, something which he, his colleagues and the SWARM team are immensely proud of. Siobhan adds “I'm so pleased that Neil ultimately stepped up and took ownership of his maths learning and his progress throughout the apprenticeship. Neil's achievement  - with Active Lancashire's support - demonstrates that he can determine his own success; an empowering position to be in.”

Going forward, Neil’s next goal is to complete his apprenticeship in Market Research and develop his new role within Active Lancashire.

Neil said that, “I’m really proud to have achieved my Functional Skills Qualification in Maths! This brings me one step closer to completing my apprenticeship. Huge thanks to Active Lancashire and the SWARM team they have been fantastic in supporting me improve my wellbeing and achieving my career goals. They have provided lots of fantastic help and advice, and have helped me to find a balance that supports my work, studies, and home life.”

Active Partnerships
Lancashire and South Cumbria Health and Care Partnership
Funded by UK Government Levelling Up