Joseph Huston-Mendy, Apprentice of the Year, at the Islington Distribution Centre

Islington apprentices win top honours in major London awards

Two exceptional Islington apprentices have won top honours at the 2020 London Borough Apprenticeship Awards.

Joseph Huston-Mendy, who has played a key part in getting emergency parcels to vulnerable people in Islington during Covid-19, is Apprentice of the Year.

Charlotte Hughes, who became an apprentice at Berkeley after completing Islington Council’s introductory construction course for women, is Best Apprentice Working in the Supply Chain.

To find out more about becoming an apprentice in Islington, see Islington Council’s website.

Joseph, a council apprentice, volunteered this spring for redeployment to the Islington Distribution Centre, the hub for deliveries to food banks and vulnerable people in Islington during Covid-19.

Within two weeks he was promoted to Logistics Manager and shortly afterwards promoted again.  Joseph now co-ordinates the centre and is responsible for its staff.  Under his leadership, emergency food parcels and food deliveries have provided a lifeline for many people in Islington.

Joseph said: “I’m buzzing that I won on a personal level, but more excited that I won it for Islington. The supportive working environment has helped develop me to reach this, all my colleagues from Parking (Public Realm), to Neighbourhood and street services (Homes & Communities) have helped me reach this award. This is testament to their influence.

“I’d like to mention the people that have influenced/motivated me to achieve; Charissa Darkwah, Jimi Ogunwanyo, Billy Wells, Karen Agbabiaka, Linzi Roberts-Egan, Rebecca Young, Christine Huston.”

Charlotte, a mother-of-three who wanted a total career change, was looking for a way into the construction industry, and found an introductory council course.

After excelling at a work experience placement she was offered a management apprenticeship at Berkeley, and works at the major Woodberry Down construction project in Hackney.

Charlotte said: “This is really a proud moment for me. I always knew that I wanted to work within the construction sector, and as a mum of three I wanted to achieve my goals to give my children a better life. I met with Islington Council and they helped me and connected me with Berkeley. I am so grateful for the support I’ve had during this amazing  journey. My life has changed and I couldn't be happier.”

Cllr Asima Shaikh, Islington Council’s executive member for inclusive economy and jobs, said: “I am over the moon that Joseph and Charlotte’s hard work and achievements are being celebrated by London Councils, and I am delighted that Islington Council’s commitment and success in developing and promoting our apprenticeships programme has been recognised.”

“Creating jobs and opportunity for all is a key part of our mission to make Islington a fairer place, and apprenticeships are a vital part of that.  Joseph and Charlotte are exceptional talents and show the brilliant work that Islington’s apprentices do, and the excellent opportunities apprenticeships bring to many people in our borough.

“Islington has a wide range of apprenticeships – from horticulture and construction to finance and accountancy – please get in touch if you, or someone you know, would like to find out more.”

The 2020 London Borough Apprenticeship Awards are organised by London Councils.

Media contact information

If you are a member of the media and would like more information please contact:

Islington Council media team – or 020 7527 2307.  Out of hours: 07769 163303

If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please contact:

Contact Islington – or 020 7527 2000