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Hannah Astbury-Jones
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Application Support SpecalistSanctuary Group
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Receptionist, Red Carpet Hair and Beauty

My first ever job if we disregard the numerous paper rounds! During my time in high school I was a Saturday and late night receptionist for a local salon. It was my job to greet customers, book appointments and ensure everyone was ready to get pampered. I also helped maintain a customer database and mailing lists.
I enjoyed this role as my introduction to the working world as it started securing my skills in time management and customer service.

Avon Representative, Avon

Working in my local area I sold Avon products. This job helped me to improve my customer service skills, money management and prioritisation of tasks.

Advanced IS Apprentice, Sanctuary Group

Following on from college I was slightly stuck as to what to do, due to being a young carer I had 2 A-Levels to my name and 1 AS Level, as the end of my final year approached I started looking for apprenticeships.
I joined Sanctuary Group in 2012 as an apprentice in the IS (IT) Department.
During my time in this role, I was based in the Application Support team, it was my role to delegate support tickets and assign them to the appropriate support teams while also checking they contained the correct level of detail.
I maintained this full-time role while also completing a Level 3 NVQ in Professional Competence (PROCOM) which helped me further my knowledge of relevant ICT practices.

Higher Implementation and Support Apprentice, Sanctuary Group

As part of the HR Solutions and Corporate & Care Application Support teams who provided a second line support for all of Sanctuary Group, it was my role to manage and delegate support tickets.

During this time I started to specialise in Care, Finance and HR orientated applications while also learning how to support more challenging issues.

I also had to complete my NVQ portfolio for my Level 4 in ICT Systems and Principals and ICT Professional Competence (PROCOM) while continuing with my day-to-day role, yet again helping me to further my knowledge.

Application Support Assistant, Sanctuary Group

My knowledge continued to grow to include a range of finance and care programmes as well as strengthening my knowledge of previous applications.

Part of my growth included helping to create forms, processes and design dashboards for our users which suited their individual needs. I also implemented a problem management process which is tailored to Sanctuary's needs and ITIL best practise during July 2016.

I also took on management of a series of small scale projects including the implementation of a safeguarding system, and application audits.

Application Support Specalist
Sanctuary Group

With over 4 years’ experience within the Application Support team, the core functionality of my role remains the same, continue supporting a range of applications and assist with projects- all while demonstrating a professional and friendly demeanour. I have gained a lot more responsibility and I am directly depended on in many areas of the business for application work and project support.

I have become the primary support for a number of applications, including the bio-metric ‘clocks’ our care staff use to track their working hours on. I am involved in the building, programming and maintenance of these machines.

Currently I am really happy where I have ended up, while this role was not my plan AT ALL, I have a career and that's thanks to me (mainly, not disregarding the support my company or my learning providers have given).
I love having technical knowledge of systems and hardware, and there isn't a better feeling than knowing you have helped someone.

My name is Ajay! I'm currently 25 years old and have been working for Sanctuary Group in their IT Department for 6 years.

Honestly, this was never my plan- I had chopped and changed my aspirations over the years however when it came to going to college, my Mother and Father both required part time care. This meant that I took less subjects than I wanted and thus reduced my options.
At the time I really didn't want to stay in formal education longer than I had to, so I applied for apprenticeships.
I applied for a vast range of courses however due to long standing passion of computers and video games, I found myself more drawn to IT related roles. 

Outside of work I enjoy playing video games, aerial hoop and going to festivals. I also go to the gym regularly to ensure my mental and physical health are kept in check!

I am a strong advocate for individuality and helping to show people that you can be yourself! Never judge a book by it's cover.

English, German
Information technology IT / ICT

Self care is incredibly important, make sure you are looking after yourself physically and mentally.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help- no matter what aspect of your life it is.

Try to encourage yourself to keep learning, a stimulated brain is a happier brain. Recently I have picked up learning German again to improve my future job prospects.

My Education
German AS Level, Level 3 BTEC in Workskills, English Language & Literature A Level, Applied ICT A Level
Worcester Sixth Form College
Level 3 NVQ in Professional Competence
Level 4 NVQ in ICT Systems and Principals, Level 4 NVQ in Professional Competence
Worcester Group Training Association
TDM Wyre Academy
Art, Biology, Chemistry, Drama, English Language, English Literature, German, ICT, Mathematics, Physics, Religious Studies, RE, Citizenship Studies, Computer Science and IT
Christopher Whitehead Language College
Photo Of My Education

I had always assumed I would go into something creative in my future, so a huge part of high school for me was Art and Drama.

ICT was always something I took an interest in, but it wasn't as the forefront of my vaguely thought out plans for the future.

I'll be honest and say that High School isn't a time I look back on fondly, I couldn't wait to leave while I was there due to my low self esteem and mental health.
I found that using creative outlets (such as Art and Drama clubs) helped me turn my depression into something beautiful, or at least something I could look back on. I now also realise that plugging away on the computer was also a productive distraction.

More about me

Obviously, a level of technical knowledge is important in my role- however starting out I couldn't have told you much about computers aside from I liked them!
Having a 'work persona' is important to my job- in a customer facing role it's vital you know your audience and how to talk to them.
Time management and prioritising tasks is also vital- you never know when something is going to break in IT and you have to make a decision if it's more important than what you're already working on.

I have completed three NVQs over my career, these have created a strong foundation for my job however I have never stopped learning.
I frequently use online forums and courses to hone my skills and update my knowledge set.

If we went way back, at the tender age of 5 I would have told you I wanted to be a singing vet (using my magic voice to sing the animals better, obviously). However as I got older my aspirations flitted back and forth frequently.
I wanted to be an actress, German translator, tattoo artist, comedian and many other things.
In college I decided I'd like a career as a Radio Presenter, however due commitment as young carer, I did not pursue this as much as I wished I had.

I feel like this is a difficult question, as I have gotten to where I have due to 'falling on my feet' so to say, if I started out again who's to say the events which caused me to be here would happen again?
If I could go back somehow, I would pursue my art with more vigour but also continue to work with technology, I like the idea of working with computers as it has become such a huge part of my life, but I do miss having creative outlets and the idea of something like that being my career is fascinating.
Ultimately, I am happy where I have ended up though!

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