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Awards for local council staff

By SPP Reporter

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TWO Highland Council workers in Sutherland have won in-house Quality Awards.

Brora based Community Works Officer John Mackay is the joint winner of the council Trainee of the Year Award.

And Heather Simpson, janitor at Melvich Primary School, has picked up a Special Recognition award after being nominated by her community council.

The two were among a number of staff to be honoured at a ceremony held the Town House, Inverness. The awards are held annually.

Mr Mackay is the first member of staff in the council to complete the Institute of Leadership and Management Level 5 Award in Management.

Despite having a demanding job, he set aside time to study and was described as an excellent example of what it meant to be an “independent learner.”

His commitment to self-development was praised by Director of Transport, Environmental and Community Services Neil Gillies who said the skills and knowledge gained by Mr Mackay would hugely benefit the council.

“John’s ability to identify his own strengths and areas for improvement is a real attribute,” said Mr Gillies.

“John continues to plan his future development and wherever possible seeks ways in which he can apply his learning to the benefit of his team, service and the wider council.”

Heather Simpson not only the janitor at Melvich Primary School but also the cleaner and bus driver. She was the school cook for 14 years before taking on her current duties, which involve one morning’s work at nearby Reay Primary School.

She was nominated for her award by Melvich Community Council

Community Council treasurer Tina Wrighton said: “Heather is extremely conscientious and a great asset to the school community, going well beyond her job description.

“She not only prepares and serves teas at school functions and helps with Christmas dinner, but also assists at making props for plays and assists at the nursery when they are short staffed.

“And she is always prepared to take children on trips, irrespective of the long hours involved.

“Heather also cheerfully opens and closes the premises for use by community groups and the premises are always tidy and welcoming.”

Outside of school Heather also finds the time to run the local youth club.

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