Phoebe Stockford 1993-2015

08 July 2015     JTL

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that we write this article to report the death of JTL apprentice and female Ambassador Phoebe Stockford.

In 2013, JTL launched its apprentice Ambassador programme, starting with 10 female apprentices. Due to the success of the scheme, JTL expanded the programme to include a further 12 more female ambassadors.

One of those second wave of ambassadors was Phoebe Stockford.  Phoebe was a bright, articulate individual who knew what she wanted out of life. She had a genuine passion for motorbikes, and had set a goal to build her own one day.

Phoebe left school and had wanted to become a mechanical apprentice, but was unable to find anyone willing to take her on. Her lightbulb moment came to her when her father and brothers suggested that she look into becoming an electrician.  She applied to several employers within the Oxford area, and was interviewed by leading employer Darke & Taylor, who were clearly impressed by her and did not hesitate in taking her on. In doing so, Phoebe became the first ever female Darke & Taylor apprentice.

In 2014, Phoebe qualified as an electrician. She maintained her passion for motorbikes, and applied the same determination to find a way to fulfil her ambitions. Phoebe met Peter Thorne, who would train her and become her sponsor in the motorbike racing world. She also became a JTL Ambassador, helping to promote women into the building services engineering sector and into apprenticeships.

Phoebe was a quiet and often shy individual. However, she had a fun streak in her, and when she spoke about her apprenticeship and her career, you could see a real spark ignite in her. She instantly became friends with all the other JTL ambassadors, spurring on and supporting others when they needed it.  She was often quoted in the media when asked her advice about becoming an apprentice: “Don’t be scared, there are other women doing this job and they will get so much support and help every step of the way”.

She was also often quoted when asked about working in a male industry: “Give as good as you get!”

As with all of the ambassadors, Phoebe was inspirational, she gave as good as she got, and she did do it – she pushed the boundaries in two male dominating worlds. She was a humble individual who wanted to always do better. She was taking the racing world, the industry and her role as an ambassador by storm, including being a finalist in last year’s JTL Regional Apprentice of the Year Awards.

On Sunday 5th July, Phoebe passed away following a serious accident during a practice run at Pembrey Circuit the day before. Her sponsor was with her, as well as her team.

She was 22 years of age, with a stunningly bright future ahead of her, and she will be missed by all.

Our thoughts are with her family and loved ones at this difficult time.

May she rest in peace.

Phoebe Stockford 1993-2015

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