I COULDN’T let Steve and Linda Denham of Cherilyn in West Chiltington go without a letter to say not only were they excellent shop owners but exemplary, and I feel very unusual, employers.
My son worked for them first as a paperboy and then full time and after that part time while at college.
When he started full time, he had been let down by his school in choice of A-levels and dropped out of sixth form.
He worked at Steve’s full time for a year during which Steve took him under his wing and developed his confidence, training him on the Post Office Counter, showing a real interest in him and encouraging him.
The following year my son applied for a course at college. He ended up four years later with a degree and went straight into a full time job.
I know he would not have achieved this without Steve’s years of effort, and patience, seeing what he could achieve, constantly asking about his course and giving advice and listening to him.
This was way beyond what an employer needed to do and he showed a genuine interest in his staff as much as he did his customers.
Steve saw everyone as an individual and also saw the best in people. He was ALWAYS cheerful. When his shop was burgled and had to shut, the village seemed really empty and dead. We all felt for them.
It is a real shock now to lose them and they will always be missed but they have left their mark in this village and in the lives they touched here.
I wish them all the best in what is now their time to pursue their hard earned dreams.
With all these courses for employers in big companies on how to treat staff, it is reassuring in this fast paced individual centred world, to find such a rare person quietly doing all the right things and more besides. Thanks Steve and Linda.