Overcoming difficulties in life can be essential qualities that employers view favourably and can instil in a worker’s drive and determination that others do not possess. And employers in turn are frequently rewarded with hard-working employees who appreciate the opportunity they have been given.
Such is the case of Ashleigh Irvine, who is a popular staff member at the north-east’s largest independent retail store, and Banff’s largest employer, the Spotty Bag Shop.
Ashleigh, who has Down’s Syndrome and hails from Banff, has been working at the store for the past two years and Spotty Bag Shop owner Des Cheyne said she was a role model for other staff.
“Ashleigh is an absolute delight,” he said. “She is a first class member of staff, always has a smile on her face and nothing is too much trouble for her. She has been a great addition to the team here.”
Ashleigh works in the store’s popular cafe and was especially proud when she marked her two-year anniversary there last month.
“She always refers to us as her ‘Spotty Bag family’,” said Des. “In the time she has been with us her confidence has grown and her role as a cafe assistant has always been appreciated. Ashleigh serves customers their food with a huge smile.”
She said: “I like to work at the Spotty Bag Shop and Des is the best boss. It’s a challenge when it’s busy but that’s a good thing.”
Ashleigh’s tasks include preparing vegetables, taking care of the condiments, cleaning tables, serving food to the customers at their tables and helping with dishes.
Des added: “All her work colleagues say she’s a more than useful asset to the team and it wouldn’t be the same without her. I have never had a moment’s hesitation about employing her – she’s been a dream employee.”