Former hairdresser swaps scissors for sheep shearing

Miss Lodge with her son Lewis and a sheep

Miss Lodge with her son Lewis and a sheep - Credit: Emma Lodge

A hairdresser has returned to her family's roots by taking on an agricultural apprenticeship after 30 years out of education.

Emma Lodge, from Gislingham, was volunteering at the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket when an agricultural apprenticeship role cropped up.

The 44-year-old said: "Growing up I worked in a garage for about two days but I left that job and trained to be a hairdresser.

“My dad was an agricultural worker, so this kind of life was in my blood and when my son Lewis and I started volunteering at the museum, I started to think that this life could be for me. This place just captures you.”

Miss Lodge's training is supported by Suffolk Rural College, while at the museum she gets involved in feeding, watering and looking after the animals, machinery maintenance and gives tours of the museum (when they are allowed).

She added: "I love talking to visitors. I’ve heard children say that carrots come from Asda. So our job is to teach visitors the basics and explain to them where our food comes from.”

“Long term, I can’t see myself leaving the museum – it is part of my life. I feel very lucky to have found something that I love doing. You get to work outside and you get to see progress every day.”

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The mum was recently nominated for a competition called Suffolk Agricultural Apprentice of the Year and received a special award for her efforts in the contest judged the Suffolk Agricultural Association Fram Farmers and the college.

Miss Lodge with her award from the Suffolk Agricultural Apprentice of the Year competition

Miss Lodge with her award from the Suffolk Agricultural Apprentice of the Year competition - Credit: John Nice

She should have picked up the award at The Suffolk Show, however a big presentation is still planned for 2022 or earlier.

Miss Lodge added: "Achieving something through hard work and study is a big thing for me. I think I may have even played a small part in inspiring my son to work in farming.

"He definitely wants to do something with animals – perhaps be some kind of paramedic vet. We even study together sometimes and I’m so proud of him. I think after all of this, he is a little bit proud of me.”

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