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Bluestone National Park Resort's story

Llion Richards, Retail/Guest Services member at Bluestone National Park Resort

Bluestone National Park Resort is a 5* luxury, eco-friendly short break and holiday destination spread across a 500-acre site in Narberth, Pembrokeshire. The venue includes the Blue Lagoon Water Park, restaurants and bars, a wellness spa, as well as a host of indoor and outdoor activities.

Staff at Bluestone have been able to progress their part-time jobs into fulfilling full-time careers while being supported by comprehensive training and things like apprenticeships, while those with children are encouraged to fit their patterns around their family responsibilities.

Llion Richards, Retail/Guest Services

Llion started working at the resort part-time to pick up extra pocket money, but was offered the chance to start a career there after he found that his passion in life was making people smile. As a person who is hard of hearing, he is keen to reassure others that there are no barriers to getting a great job in the tourism and hospitality industry.

“I didn’t think about going into hospitality. I was only looking for something small and part-time, and I loved it here so much it’s grown into something much larger than that.

“Eight years later I’m still here and still loving the place. I can’t see myself leaving.

“I started in housekeeping at first, then went to working in activities as an instructor, then went to checking guests in with the guests services team, and also I work in our retail shops. There’s so much variety on offer to suit your skills and help you develop new ones.

“When guests arrive you’re the first face they see and it can make a lasting impression on you and them? .  I want to make sure they enjoy their time here and  get a buzz from seeing the smiles on the faces of them and their families.

“I’m hard of hearing and there’s been no barriers to working in a place like this. I’ve been given the same opportunities as everyone else and given the same support and training.”

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Cara Thomas, Housekeeper

Cara has a young son who she needs to take to school every day and be back at home for when he returns, and says things like having transport put on for her by the resort makes a world of difference for her work-life balance.

“I love the atmosphere when I’m with my work colleagues. They’re family to me now.

“I love interacting with guests and seeing them enjoy themselves. Since I’ve been here my communication skills have improved so much and you find when you’re speaking to new people all the time that you come out of your shell more. I was probably a bit shy before I started.

“One of the best things is that I can make my job work around my family and my other important job as a mum. The job allows me to do the school run, then Bluestone put on a bus to pick us up near our homes, and at the end of the day we get dropped back home by around four. There are always extra hours available if I  want them.

“I’ve had loads of support from managers and with things like training. Having that makes the job more enjoyable.

“Every three months we get given points which we can use towards things like the spa, different activities on site, and it’s great to use for a day out with the kids.”

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Leonie Morgan, Senior Spa Therapist

Leonie started at Bluestone working in its restaurants and bars at 18 years old, but quickly found that the company was keen to make sure she could pursue her ambition of working in beauty by switching her role and offering her a place at the resorts training academy.

“Beauty was always something I had an interest in. I actually started at Bluestone in food and beverage while I was paying privately for my training as a beauty therapist.

"When the spa manager heard where my interests actually were I was approached and offered an apprenticeship where I knew I’d have a job at the end of it.

“I then became a spa therapist and have now moved up to senior spa therapist, and I’m currently training for more qualifications.

“I love giving treatments because you get instant results from your work – it’s really rewarding.

“After you’ve worked here for 12 months you  are given shares in the company, which means that every Christmas if we’ve hit our targets we get a nice bonus in our salaries, and you really feel a sense of ownership in the business.”

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Gwawr James, Commis Chef

Gwawr was always a keen cook at home – and found the perfect opportunity to build a career doing what she loves after seeing an apprenticeship advertised for the resort. She says the skills she’s since developed have put her on track for a great future in hospitality.

“I’ve always been interested in cooking since I was young. When I heard I could get an apprenticeship here I knew it was what I wanted to do.

“My cooking skills have improved so much since I joined and I can speak with different people so much easier.

“I love coming into work every day, working in a team, and interacting with the guests.

If you want to build your confidence and learn to work under pressure this is definitely the industry for you.”

Gwawr James, Commis Chef
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