A chat with Elin Hâf Darnell
Apprentice of the Month, March 2022
Elin Hâf Darnell is originally from Bodelwyddan, but now lives in Abergele. She received her education at Dewi Sant School and then Glan Clwyd High School. Elin is an apprentice studying ‘Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development’, through an exciting partnership between the Mudiad Meithrin and the Urdd! Here is a little about her work and interests!
Why did you decide to take on an apprenticeship with the Urdd?
I didn’t have any childcare related qualifications when I started working at the Nursery, so I decided to do the apprenticeship to further my career and to help teach the next generation.
What do you enjoy most about your apprenticeship?
There are many aspects of my job that I enjoy – from seeing the children’s happy faces in the morning, to hearing them sing Welsh songs throughout the day. It is extremely rewarding and fulfilling to know that I am helping to nurture the next generation of Welsh speakers. The apprenticeship has had a positive impact on my working life, as it has given me the skills and knowledge to gain a deeper understanding of how to properly care for young children, by maintaining their dignity and respecting their wishes.
How important is it to do your apprenticeship through the medium of Welsh?
It’s very important to me because I noticed I didn’t speak as much Welsh as I wanted, even though I spoke it at home. This happened after I left high school and left a Welsh language setting. I’ve noticed that I can concentrate better. I’ve also noticed that my standard of Welsh has improved, and I even notice that I speak to myself in Welsh now.
What are your interests outside of work?
My interests are colouring/painting and being creative in general. Creative materials, such as painting on large canvases, help me express emotions that I can’t through words. I enjoy going to forests or National Parks for walks, collecting rocks on beaches and most of all, socializing and relaxing with friends.
How has doing the apprenticeship affected your personal development?
The biggest impact that the apprenticeship has had on me personally is that I have proved to myself that I can do anything that life throws at me. For example, I had not passed GCSE Mathematics at school, and I never thought I would be able to do it, but with the help and dedication of the tutors of the Urdd’s Essential Skills Hub – I’ve passed the Numeracy qualification and have really boosted my confidence in doing basic and complex maths. It can be hard to stay motivated sometimes, but it’s so beneficial in the long run and that’s what ultimately matters.
What are you hoping to do after completing the apprenticeship?
Continue to work at the Nursery and maybe work up to a supervisor level in the future.
Briefly describe your duties.
These include singing fun songs during circle time, making sure the children get creative, preparing snacks and lunch, taking the children out to play, and helping them to go to the toilet and wash their hands independently.
Describe your experience of doing an apprenticeship with the Urdd in 3 words!
Challenging, Stimulating, Rewarding!
Would you like to add something about your story? How have you got to where you are now? What was / is your biggest challenge?
Since starting the apprenticeship in 2020, I’ve passed both the level 2 and my Maths exams, and I’ve almost completed my level 3 course! The biggest challenge was getting the Numeracy qualification because it took some time away from my coursework, but with hard work I succeeded!