Two East Lancashire apprentices have been honoured for their work at a national awards ceremony.

Holly Duffy and Sam Farnworth, both painting and decorating apprentices at Accrington and Rossendale College, picked up prizes at the Painting and Decorating Association's gala dinner.

Earlier this year the pair competed in the Apprentice Paperhanger of the Year competiton, held in Doncaster, where apprentices were tasked with displaying their precision stamina and skill over a gruelling six-hour wallpapering challenge.

The pair battled it out against 35 apprentices, with Sam placing third in the senior category, and Holly receiving the PDA chief executive’s Recognition and Achievement Award.

Lancashire Telegraph: Holly Duffy receives her award from chief executive of the PDA Neil OgilvieHolly Duffy receives her award from chief executive of the PDA Neil Ogilvie (Image: PDA)

Sam, 20, from Langho, works for Bryan Lee Building Contractors alongside his studies.

He said: “To make the final three out of all the talented apprentices was a very proud moment for myself.

“I would recommend the competition to other apprentices as it is a great way to test yourself under pressure and is a great experience.

“Going forward, the competition will benefit me in many ways.

"It will give me more confidence in my ability to work on my own and in any challenging work to be carried out.”

Holly, 21, from Bacup, who works at Spain Building & Maintenance Ltd alongside her studies, added: “Being invited to the PDA Gala Dinner was an absolute privilege and I am so lucky to have been part of it.

“This has proved to me that hard work does pay off and does not go unnoticed participating in the competitions has brought me so many good things.”


At the PDA's networking event gala dinner in York, Holly and Sam were presented with certificates and cash prizes for their efforts by PDA chief executive Neil Ogilvie an a representative from competition sponsor Brewers Decorator Centres.

Mr Ogilvie congratulated the pair on their hard work and demonstrated skills, adding: "Hanging wallpaper demands careful preparation and intense concentration, combined with precise attention to detail.

“Completing a set design under a significant time pressure is no easy feat, and out Apprentice Paperhanger competition demonstrates the talent and skills acquired by people starting their careers in colour.”