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Helen Celebrates 25 Years Ms Kings Lynn

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Celebrations were in full flow in London as Marks & Spencer Kings Lynn employee, Helen Barnard, marked 25 years service with the company at the retailer's Long Service Celebrations.

Helen joined 443 M&S colleagues from across the UK as they were rewarded for 40 years or 25 years of service. In total, they impressively represent more than 11,000 years serving M&S customers.

As well as enjoying a champagne reception and a West End show with M&S Chief Executive Marc Bolland, Helen was presented with a gold and diamond ring to thank her for her commitment to the company.

Helen, who works as a barista in the M&S Café,  joined M&S Kings Lynn in 1986, leaving her job at a local hair salon to work as the store's official in-house staff hairdresser for more than seven years. She later hung up her scissors to work across the store's various departments, including roles as a customer service advisor in womenswear and a specialist bra fitter in the lingerie department, before training to work as a barista. 

Helen said: "Working for M&S has been very rewarding as I love serving customers and working with some great colleagues; in fact, it was the store's staff who used to come and get their hair cut by me who persuaded me to join the company in the first place.

"The last 25 years have gone really quickly and I've enjoyed every minute. I have seen lots of changes in this time: the store has been completely modernised and customers have more choice than ever. The conversion of the stockroom into what is now M&S Café has meant customers can sit down and relax after they have browsed the store.  What hasn't changed is that M&S is still great to its staff and its products are still of the highest quality."

Steve Rowe, Director of Retail M&S, said: "We are very lucky at Marks & Spencer to have so many thousands of dedicated staff who care deeply about the way we do business and ensure that our customers receive first class service."

"This is evidenced by the large number of employees who remain at M&S for upwards of 25 years and beyond, with many spending their entire working lives with the company.

"These awards are our way of showing our appreciation for all the hard work they do and we are delighted to celebrate this special occasion with Helen."

The origins of the M&S 'Long Service Celebration' date back to 1918, when an employee was awarded a gold watch for 25 years' loyal service to the company. Since then the awards have become an established Marks & Spencer tradition. Over the past half-century, over 29,000 staff with 25 years' service and 1,893 with 40 years' service have been rewarded for their loyalty.