Shirley Holt, who works at North Hykeham Food Store, won the co-operative category in the prestigious Sales Assistant of the Year Awards 2017.
She was handed the award and a £500 cash prize at a glitzy ceremony in London this week, where she also made the shortlist for overall Sales Assistant of the Year.
Judges were blown away by Shirley’s endless enthusiasm and dedication as both Community Liaison Representative and a Customer Service Assistant for the store on Lincoln Road.
Along with the store team, Shirley enjoys getting to know the shoppers who pop in. She tries hard to brighten their day with a smile and a chat or even, on one occasion last Christmas, a spontaneous dance through the aisles.
She carries bags to peoples’ cars and has also volunteered her own time to drive shopping home for customers struggling with lots of bags.
And as Community Liaison Representative, Shirley supports the local community and organises ways for the store team to fundraise for good causes, while also managing training for her colleagues. In addition to all this, she also leads the instore bakery.
Shirley said: “When I was told I’d won the co-operative category I burst into tears. I just couldn’t believe it. Anything over and above that was extra.
“I joke that if you cut me in half like a stick of rock it will say Lincolnshire Co-op, but that is what happens. You become part of a family, and by that I mean customers as well, especially in a brilliant community like Hykeham. We know everybody and everybody knows you, so every day it’s a joy to come into work.
“I really do enjoy getting to know all of our customers and their lives. You might start with knowing which newspaper they buy and which bread they prefer, but you come to find out what’s important to them and what they want for the community.”
Shirley’s Regional Manager Richard Robinson said she comes across as warm, friendly and caring, and nothing is too much trouble for her.
“This award is a triumph for Shirley and her team, and also for all our colleagues. That’s because they all work hard to provide great service and, together with members and shoppers, support their local communities,” he said.
Communications Manager for awards sponsor Coca-Cola European Partners Donna Pisani presented Shirley with the accolade.
Specialist publication Convenience Store Magazine hosts the awards.
Editor David Rees said: “The judges felt that Shirley showed a real passion for her work as well as for her community.”
For more information contact: Hannah Gilbey, Media and Communications Co-ordinator
(01522) 785281 or 07970 893327
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