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Professional painting tools manufacturer Purdy has crowned John Stevenson from the Leeds College of Building as the winner of its first Mentor of the Year competition and will award him the first prize of £2,000. Samantha Murphy from Smart Design and Mark Mitchell from Inverness College UHI were both awarded with the runners up prize of £500 each. Their nominators will also receive a bundle of Purdy goodies.

Purdy’s Mentor of the Year competition, which launched in July 2021, gave apprentices and those learning the trade the chance to thank the people that are having a positive influence on them and their learning. From the high volume of entries, judges Phil Warwick of CITB, Neil Ogilvie of the PDA and Andy Cummins of Purdy felt that John Stevenson, Samantha Murphy and Mark Mitchell had gone above and beyond to instil their skills and knowledge in the next generation of professional painters and decorators.

John Stevenson (Leeds College of Building) – winner of Purdy Mentor of the Year 2021

Nominated by Reece Dudley for being “such a great tutor”, the judges saw just how inspirational John has been to those he teaches. He has gone out of his way to ensure that his students can gain a full understanding of what it takes to be a professional painter and decorator. John’s positive, “go out and get it” attitude has been instilled in his students and he has worked hard to ensure that they understand the importance of maintaining a high standard of work across every job.

Samantha Murphy (Smart Design) – runner up of Purdy Mentor of the Year 2021

Samantha Murphy was nominated by Courtney Maddison for her unwavering support and encouragement. Having taken Courtney on as an apprentice, Samantha has worked hard to ensure that she has the necessary skills to become a professional painter and decorator – including just how important it is to respect customers and their properties and ensure a high-quality finish every time no matter how long it might take to achieve.

Mark Mitchell (Inverness College UHI) – runner up of Purdy Mentor of the Year 2021

Mark was nominated an impressive three times in total by Hannah Deverson, Lorna Dyce and Emma Mackenzie for his commitment to ensuring that his students leave college with the skills they need to become a professional painter and decorator – from hints and tips on how to hold a paint brush to make cutting in a breeze, to encouraging his students to push themselves to be the best that they can be.

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