Northampton

Desborough woman takes up apprenticeship aged 76

Doreen Bindley
Image caption Doreen Bindley is entering an apprenticeship at the age of 76

A 76-year-old is returning to study for the first time in 30 years after embarking on a retail apprenticeship.

Grandmother-of-five Doreen Bindley will be studying English and maths as part of a course normally taken by school-leavers.

The Co-op worker from Desborough, Northamptonshire, is three months into the Government-backed retail customer services assistant apprenticeship.

She said without challenges "you might as well sit down in a chair and die".

Mrs Bindley, who enjoys quizzes and computer games, said she last studied "about 30 years ago" when she took her O-levels.

She has worked at the Gladstone Street Co-op for 17 years and was persuaded to take the course by fellow workers.

'Quite daunting'

"I never thought I'd be doing something like this at my age, but I'm so glad that I listened to my colleagues who said 'go for it'," she said.

She said the idea of being tested again had been "quite daunting" but had so far found the apprenticeship, aimed at anyone 16 and older, "easy".

"When you get older you get more experience and you can do things a lot easier," she said.

The Central England Co-operative Society's Alison Cooper said Mrs Bindley was "really enjoying the new challenges".

She said: "Doreen's age is not really anything to do with it. She has got a good skill set and this was a chance to refresh those skills."

Julian Jones, managing director of Adaptive Business Support, which works alongside the Central England Co-operative Society to support the apprentice programme, said Mrs Bindley proved apprenticeships were for everyone.

"Occasionally inspiration emerges from the most unlikely places," he said.

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