Apprentice winner from Thamesmead is inspiration on home turf
PUBLISHED: 10:22 23 December 2010
A community charity boss working on a council estate says a former resident who soared to success on this year's hit television show The Apprentice has inspired youngsters in the area after her win.
Stella English, who was brought up in Thamesmead, was told “You’re hired” by Lord Alan Sugar on Sunday after beating 15 contestants to the post.
The 30-year-old former head of business management at a Japanese bank landed the £100,000 salary job after carrying out a gruelling 12-week job interview consisting of various tasks and interviews.
Ms English was raised by her great aunt Stella Brockman in the sprawling Thamesmead council estate after her mother was unable to care for her due to illness and her father abandoned her at a young age.
Mick Hayes is the chief executive at Trust Thamesmead, a charity that works towards developing the estate and investing in community projects.
He said: “Everyone at Trust Thamesmead was thrilled to see Stella win The Apprentice.
“She has obviously worked hard over the years to get to the stage she’s at career wise and is a great role model to many people in Thamesmead.
“Many of our young people have told us Stella is a great role model and we would love to invite her back to meet some of them.”
Ms English said after her victory: “To think that little Stella from Thamesmead could be the winner of The Apprentice is unbelievable.
“There were times that I felt very tired and it was much harder than I ever thought it would be.
“But in terms of quitting, there was absolutely no way.”
She said she hoped to provide a “better quality of life” for her two young sons.
After hiring his latest apprentice, Lord Sugar said: “I’m very happy.
“What you saw is someone who is very meticulous and articulate and that’s what’s needed in a very competitive market.”
The multi-millionaire praised the fact that Ms English had worked hard to gain qualifications after leaving school without them.