C grade student turned £1m business owner reaches out to young Derbyshire underdogs with glimmering opportunity

A Derbyshire woman who was once told she’d ‘never amount to anything’ before she turned round a £1m business is building on her empire by providing opportunities to other young people who might normally be overlooked.

Thursday, 20th June 2019, 4:19 pm

An ‘average student’, Rebecca Bidwell left school deflated but determined to gain experience by any means necessary- even living in a caravan at one point in order to commute to internships in central London.

After launching law costs drafting firm Bidwell Henderson from her attic, the 33-year-old manages a team of 42 people across offices in Alfreton and Newcastle- and is keen to pass on the torch to other young underdogs.

The latest fledgling on the books is 18-year-old Roman White, who contacted Rebecca after reading her success story in the Derbyshire Times.

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Rebecca Bidwell with Chelsea Allcock and Roman White.

Roman was offered a full-time administration apprencticeship this month and is currently assisting the team with photocopying, scanning, filing and reception duties.

He said: “I have just finished my A Levels and, during my course, I realised I didn’t want a career in those subjects. I think students need to know there are great apprenticeship options available to them, even if it’s not in the area they studied.

“There needs to be more information in schools. If I hadn’t seen the Derbyshire Times article I wouldn’t have known about this great job, and I don’t know what I would have been doing right now.”

Roman follows in the footseps of Chelsea Allcock, 20, who joined the firm as an apprentice last year and has since climbed up the ladder to earn a promotion.

Roman White has called for more information on apprenticeships to be made available in schools.

She and Rebecca have been ‘paying it forward’ by giving talks in Derbyshire schools, explaining how apprenticeships work.

Rebecca said: “We are now recruiting for our next three apprentices, creating three full-time jobs here in the Alfreton office for anyone who is keen to learn a professional legal job. They will receive a salary and dedicated on-the-job training. Progression opportunities are available at very early stages in a career with us. Applicants don’t need to have a degree, just good Maths and English skills and strong attention to detail. We will do the rest.”

Anyone interested should email a CV and cover letter to: [email protected]

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