"Debbie's spirit and enthusiasm, coupled with huge motivation, embodies the ethos of retraining."
George Ridd, Filton College
Nominator for Adult Learners' Week Award
Interview with Graham TorringtonTrophyPlumbher
South West Regional Award 2010
Winner of the South West Regional Award 2010

Adult Learners' Week Award

In January 2009, Debbie was made redundant from her job as an Inventory Support and Process Manager with Woolworths, in a field-based role, after 31 years' service. Debbie saw it as an opportunity to embark on a new career, and enrolled on a six-week taster course in plumbing at Filton College, which allowed her to find out if this was the right career choice for her.

After successfully completing the taster course, Debbie progressed to a Level 2 basic plumbing course and qualified in September 2009. She then gained some hands-on experience to cement what she'd learned in the classroom, and this led to Debbie setting up her own business, 'Plumbher', in January 2010. Debbie is also studying for an NVQ Level 2 in plumbing with Filton College, alongside running her business.

'Debbie's spirit and enthusiasm, coupled with huge motivation, embodies the ethos of retraining... She has beaten the recession to not only learn her new trade, but to set up her own company,' said George, Debbie's nominator.

'There were times when I questioned my own capability, but with help, support and determination it taught me never to give up!', reflected Debbie.

Reproduced by kind permission of Adult Learners' Week. 2010/deborah-stanley-jones

Filton College, Adult Learners' week Adult learners Week Filton College

South West Regional Award 2010
Winner of the Alfred Telling Award –
Bristol's Entreprenteur 2010

Alfred Telling Award

Alfred Telling AwardThe Guild of Guardians has presented the annual Alfred Telling Award to BRAVE client Debbie Stanley Jones who runs her own plumbing business called The Plumbher!

After 31 years with national retailer Woolworths, Debbie unfortunately was made redundant when the company ceased to trade. She took this as an opportunity to have a complete career change and set up her business. It was quite a roller-coaster time for her, Certificateparticularly starting college at the age of 47 in an all-male environment! She gained her plumbing qualifications and is now pursuing an NVQ level 2. She also plans to mentor other trainee plumbers.

The Alfred Telling Award is a bursary of £1,500 for an entrepreneur starting their own business in the manual trade in the Bristol area. Based in Hanham, Debbie attended a start-up programme to develop and support her business start-up, including specific advice on marketing and advertising.

Debbie said "I have been overwhelmed by the recognition for my achievement in the last year and I hope that I can be a role model for anyone else who has lost their job and given up hope on a future career, because they think they are too old! I am grateful I never gave up and remained determined to succeed'.

Reproduced by kind permission of BRAVE.


Tradeswoman of the month

In February 2014, Debbie was Runner up Tradeswoman of the month, chosen by Women in Trade Magazine – which is the first tradeswomen -focused magazine in the UK.

Tradeswoman of the month