Apprentice takes home Unsung Hero prize at national travel awards

A South Tyneside apprentice has been honoured at a national awards ceremony for her dedication to going the extra mile.

By Kevin Clark
Thursday, 24 January, 2019, 05:00
(from leftLucy Huxley, Travel Weekly editor-in-chief; Alexandra Turner-Davis, Hays Travel; Angela Day, Affordable Car Hire director; Stuart Parish, Jacobs Media Group managing director UK.

Hays Travel Jarrow apprentice Alexandra Turner-Davis received The Penny Akam Unsung Hero Award at the Travel Weekly Globe awards.

The very special award was introduced in 2010 to commemorate the life of Penny Akam, who organised the Globe Travel Awards for many years and who lost her battle with cancer in 2008.

The award was presented at a glitzy ceremony at London’s Grosvenor Housey.

Alexandra has faced her own battle with cancer, being diagnosed with progressive throat cancer in 2014 aged 14, when she was given three months to live.

Alex beat the odds and in January 2015, after receiving an adult dose of chemo-radiation five days a week over six weeks, she was given the all-clear.

She raised more than £50,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust during her treatment and went on to set up her own charity foundation, Alex’s Angels, to help families of children with the disease.

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Hays Travel retail and training director, Jane Schumm, said: “I can’t think of a more deserving winner of this prestigious award. Congratulations Alex, we are so proud of you.”

Alex said: “They started telling my story at the ceremony and I had no idea. I could not believe it. I could very easily not have been there because of my illness so for me this is a massive thing.

“I was just so emotional, so happy and so grateful.”

Alex is a Hays Travel Apprentice Ambassador and one of the company’s top performing apprentices.

She is no stranger to winning awards.

Last year, she was a finalist in the Best Apprentice category of the North East Employee of the Year awards as well as scooping the North East Advanced Apprentice of the Year at the National Apprenticeship Awards.

And in 2015, she was the named Role Model of the Year at the Best of South Tyneside Awards in recognition of her fund-raising work.