A Kentwell Hall employee has scooped a top award from an East Anglian College after trading helicopters for horticulture.
Amy McCormack, from Hadleigh, received the Easton and Otley College Apprentice of the Year award.
A total of 19 awards were handed out at an event that took place during National Apprenticeship Week.
Overall winner Amy used to work in the British Army as part of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and went from working with Apache helicopters to horticulture.
Having left the forces after 15 years of service, the 38-year-old now works as head gardener at Kentwell Hall in Long Melford.
On winning the award, Amy said: “I am thrilled. I wasn’t expecting this. Sometimes you have to believe in yourself and good things will happen.
“They have given me everything I need and more. Apprenticeships have been great for me as well.
“You learn both academically and physically. You can be any age and change career and be successful.
“I’m really happy and I couldn’t have done it without the support of the college and my employer.”
Steve Race, from the college, supported Amy during her course. He said: “She is my star apprentice and deserves this award.
“Amy is now supporting another younger student. She has worked hard at it and deserves the success. I am so proud of her.”
Louise Wicks, head of employer engagement at the college, said: “It was great to be able to celebrate the success of the apprentices we work with and the businesses that support them.
“The value of these qualifications cannot be underestimated and they offer a genuine alternative to other, more traditional educational routes such as A-levels and university.”