Blog Background Image

Longbow’s Leah Bancroft Wins Apprentice of the Year

Here at Longbow Venues, one of our favourite things to do is spend time nominating our team for awards.


They often have no clue that we do this. We hold secret meetings and speak in code, spend time gathering supporting evidence and take the odd stealth photo or video while they’re unaware. It’s all part of a sneaky plan to put them forward for well-deserved awards. Everyone squirms when we say we are going to enter them for awards so we’ve stopped telling them now and we just wait for the nominations to hopefully come in (100% of them have been shortlisted so far!).


By the time we get to the finals, we’re all bubbling with excitement and anticipation. It’s often been a process of around 6-12 months in order to complete the entry, collate the supporting evidence and be judged.



Rob Hattersley, managing director of Longbow Venues said, ‘The wait to see if the team members we have nominated have been shortlisted is agonising. I haven’t got kids of my own, but I think this might be the closest feeling to parental pride. At the East Midlands Chamber Business Awards were finalists in the Commitment to People, Entrepreneur of the Year and Excellence in Customer Service categories too. And while it would’ve been blummin lovely to get trophies for those too, the only one causing my heart rate to skyrocket past 130bpm was the Apprentice award. When The Maynard’s Leah Bancroft won we all jumped up screaming with joy.’



General manager of The Maynard and Leah’s manager, Charlotte Barker, said;


‘I must say “I cannot believe she is only 17” multiple times a week. [Leah was 17 at the time of entry] Leah loves taking an authoritative approach and knows her job role inside out, wherever she is placed in the business. She is confident in delegating to other team members who are often older than her and she is not shy in making sure the job is done and it is done right. As her manager, I can delegate tasks to her knowing that they will be done.’


‘Leah is often mentioned by name in reviews on Google and Tripadvisor. She leaves a lasting impression on diners, wedding guests and hotel guests who can’t help but mention her. She puts people at ease, making no request too difficult. She goes out of her way to deliver impeccable customer service and is thoughtful in her approach.’


‘Mental health in hospitality is important. Off her own back, Leah takes on a caring role with team members and identifies those needing additional support. She is a valued member of the team who helps us manage and lead with compassion. This benefits the whole workforce.’


‘Her influence on the job cannot be ignored. Having Leah with you on your shift makes you pull your socks up! She is thorough and leaves no stone unturned. If you work with Leah on shift and you don’t work like Leah, you’re left in the dark. Her work ethic and enthusiasm is contagious and raises the bar of the whole team working around her.’



‘Leah deserves this award in bucket loads. Young people get stick these days for being lazy, stuck to their phones and being entitled. We don’t really experience that with our young people as we strive to forge a culture that is caring, compassionate and provides certainty within their roles so that there’s no need for stress and anxiety to get the job done. Leah is already a significant contributor to the business in her capabilities, knowledge and ability to be autonomous and lead others. She will make an exceptional manager one day and her passion for learning will ensure we continue to provide excellent training as we train the next generation of hospitality staff.’


If you see Leah next time you’re in The Maynard, join us in saying well done.


We are so proud of her!

More from us

Housekeepers – The George Hathersage

Read More

Bar Staff – The George Hathersage

Read More

Front Of House – The George Hathersage

Read More

Dish of the Month | May 2024 | Adrian Gagea’s Twice Baked Cheese Soufflé

Read More

Longbow Shortlisted in the Generation Next Awards 2024

Read More

Front of House Team – The Ashford Arms

Read More

From Childhood Pot Wash to Director’s Chair: Stephen Atkinson’s Journey

Read More

Reviving History: A New Culinary Destination Coming to Bakewell

Read More


Read More

Vacancies at The Ashford Arms

Read More

Events at Longbow

Book Now

Whether it's a wedding, landmark birthday party, christening, corporate event, charity function or a celebration of life, we make memories with our award-winning events at Longbow Venues. Enquire now.

Get in touch

Whether you're looking to book the perfect spot for your next gathering or seeking exciting career opportunities in our bars and restaurants, we're here to help. Get in touch today.