Hannah from Moreton Morrell College has been selected to represent the UK on the international stage in Floristry. Hannah and Laura Leong, WorldSkills UK Floristry Training Manager will be heading to Helsinki for the competition on 20th- 23rd October. Read her story here.
Hannah Beckley from Evesham has recently qualified to represent her country in the WorldSkills Special Edition International Competition. She joined Squad pre pandemic along with Clara Agnew from Northern Ireland. Clara and Hannah both joined the international cycle of competition after successfully competing in the national phase of competition. This has been a unique cycle due to the pandemic! they trained together both virtually and face to face when restrictions were lifted. In April they competed for the chance to represent the UK abroad. After a closely fought competition Hannah won her place in Team UK.
Growing up Hannah Beckley struggled with her speech and worked with a speech therapist for twelve years. It takes commitment and determination to overcome such a difficulty, but Hannah won through. “Thanks to her my speech is pretty much perfect apart from some moments now and again.”
Hannah’s mum encouraged her to join a florist shop for work experience when she was fifteen. “By the time I was sixteen, the work experience drove me to take floristry at Moreton Morrell College. There she was introduced to WorldSkills UK Competitions. “The floristry department likes to get as many floristry students to take part, as my tutor knows what a great opportunity it is if you get through. The best part so far has been meeting other talented, lovely, hard-working people, face to face and on Zoom calls. Initially when training was virtual it was necessary to get quite inventive with instruction and feedback being in video format, we were very pleased when it was possible to train face to face!”
Hannah competed in 2019 in the WorldSkills UK National Finals held at the NEC Birmingham and watched by thousands of spectators. She feels that competing has taught her a lot and not just technical skills. “I have learned to always push yourself for more, to practise as much as possible and to do your absolute best. Also, I’m seeing things in so much more detail in everything and thinking more outside the box to create new pieces.”
Hannah thinks more young people would benefit from entering WorldSkills UK Competitions and says, “Do it!!! It’s a great opportunity and don’t hesitate.”
Asked how she feels to be selected for Team UK Hannah says, “I’m completely shocked and over the moon! I’m so happy.” About the intensive training that is part of the preparation for international competition Hannah says, I’m looking forward to working together with other competitors, meeting face to face and building those bonds.” As far as her technical skills go, Hannah believes she’s in a great position:
“I think my skills have improved with training and I have grown through competing. In the future I’d like to help people who want to be in my place.”
Matthew Taylor of Fabulous flowers in Oxford said ‘Hannah is an imaginative florist who has brought a wealth of skill and knowledge to our business through the amazing training and experience of the world skills competition. It is a great building block for her career, giving her confidence and the practical experience to overcome obstacles and problem solve. She can work in a high pressured situations and nothing phases her. As an employer the world skills programme is exciting and means that the future of floristry continues to grow’
Laura Leong, Hannah’s floristry training manager and high performance skills coach said “ Hannah has shown great determination, creativity and perseverance along her training journey, we are looking forward to her getting the chance to compete on the world stage with all her international counterparts in Finland this Autumn “
Hannah has ambitions outside of competing that hopefully will take her far. “I would love to do design for fashion shows. Or to have my own business.” She wants all young people to have the start in life that suits them best. “Choosing university is great but so is choosing a college course and apprenticeship, as you’re gaining the experience as you go along. If you’re a kinaesthetic learner (someone who learns best through experiencing physical activity), then that’s the best route to choose.”
All the Board directors and staff at the British Florist Association wish Hannah and Laura the best of luck in Finland and look forward to seeing the results of their hard work.