BUS driver Roger Bentley’s writing skills have won him two prizes in First’s Short Story Writing competition for 2008.
Roger collected £300 for Harry’s Story, after winning the individual Chester depot prize, as well as the Chester, Wirral, North Staffordshire and South Cheshire business unit prize.
The competition is organised under the umbrella of First’s Life Long Learning programme, which provides workplace access to education and training for all the company’s employees.
This is only the second time that the short story writing competition has been run and it attracted 324 entries from employees at First’s bus operating businesses across the UK.
Thirty-two of the entries were from the local Chester, Wirral, North Staffordshire and South Cheshire company, which operates depots in Chester and Birkenhead, as well as Stoke on Trent, Newcastle under Lyme and Crewe.
Jim McDermott, the company’s Life Long Learning Project Worker, said: “Last year’s successful launch showed everyone that there was nothing to be afraid of and revealed that among our employees there was a rich vein of creative writing skill, just waiting to be discovered.
“Judging this year’s mass of submissions has been a difficult task as the quality of the writing has been very high. Everyone who put forward a piece is to be congratulated and those that have come through as prize-winners should be very proud of themselves.”
First operates Lifelong Learning Centres at each of its major depots. The facilities are available to all employees and are used by some undertaking academic courses, for the delivery of occupational NVQ training courses and for leisure, hobby and special interest classes.
“Lifelong Learning not only works at the personal level for each individual, it also enriches the company’s skills base, enabling it to better deliver services for customers,” added Mr McDermott.
“Some may have missed an opportunity earlier in life to acquire academic qualifications but through our programme, they now have an opportunity to revisit those subjects of interest. Others may simply wish to share their leisure interests with like-minded colleagues and the programme provides a platform for this to happen. Both are positive reasons that enhance the employment opportunities available at First.”