Hannah’s Story

Walsall-born Hannah Scoffham, who works for Ideal & WRS Company, recently won Young Leather Craftsperson of the Year. She completed a Level 2 Leather Craftsperson apprenticeship and loved the mix of work experience, developing new skills and meeting new people.

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    She said: “I loved being able to go to the training provider each week and talk to people my own age”. When she left school, she started to go into the factory where her grandfather Alf, a master saddler, worked on his own making the military saddles for the Household Cavalry. She became fascinated by the work and the tools and Alf encouraged her interest.

    Ideal asked her if she would like to work in the workshop and she jumped at the chance. She now makes the military saddles alongside her grandfather. Her employers wanted her to have some formal recognition of her learning and so Hannah became the first Walsall apprentice enrolled on the Leather Craftsperson apprenticeship standard. She juggles work with caring for her younger brother and has recently passed her driving test.

    The Ideal & WRS Company is one of the largest manufacturers of all leather saddles on wooden saddle trees in the world, offering an extensive range of dressage, show jumping, eventing and showing styles. It has been based in Walsall for 30 years.