Sam’s success a sign of the times

SAM Papworth is loving every minute of her job. In fact, she’s blossoming into a star trainee.

The 23-year-old from Hartlepool has spent just under a year at the Florians florists shop on the Brus Corner in town. Bosses say she has picked up everything asked of her – and more.

She loves it so much she told the Hartlepool Mail: “I feel like I’m buzzing.”

And the staff at Florians love her so much, they have started to learn sign language to communicate better with Sam, who is deaf.

Julie Elvin, who runs the shop, said: “She is producing floristry work which is so good, it is going out to weddings, funerals and other appointments.”

Sam was taken on by Florians as part of an arrangement with also sees her link up with the Hartlepool Adult Education department and Remploy.

She spends Tuesdays, Thursdays and half days on Fridays at the florists while she studies English, Maths and horticulture on other days as part of her apprenticeship.

Julie said: “In her time here, she has learned everything she needed to learn and probably more. She works hard, she learns well, and she is putting work out that is going out to all sorts of celebration events as well as weddings and funerals.”

Sam works at Florians with the help of Carol Woodward, a British Sign language communicator who also spends time at the shop.

But Julie said the Florians staff are coming up with ways of helping Sam as much as possible.

“We are learning sign language and I have just about mastered the alphabet.

“But if that doesn’t work, we text each other. We are doing quite well.”

Sam is loving her time at Florians so much that she has started accompanying Julie and her family when they go for gym workouts.

She admitted: “I love the people here. They are my favourite people.”