An apprentice from Warwick has won an award for his work in catering and hospitality despite suffering through the death of his mother and two grandmothers in a short period.
Naresh Devshi, 18, was presented with the award at Stratford College, where he is studying for a Level Two NVQ in management, at a ceremony on Thursday May 5. He won the award for his work at Vinteas Tea Rooms in Leamington.
Sam and Mary pushed me to reach my full potential and made me a lot more confident.Naresh Devshi
He added: “I was quite shocked and really, really pleased that I won the award for all the hard work I’ve done.”
Naresh started working at the tea rooms in Park Street, Leamington when it opened in 2012 as a part-time potwasher. Later that year, his mother, Patricia, died suddenly from a heart attack after going into hospital with a stomach bug.
Naresh said: “The next couple of months were horrible with school - I was in and out of school for quite a while and I became more disruptive.”
But the owners of Vinteas, Sam and Mary Morris, saw potential in Naresh, and were very supportive of him in the months after Patricia’s death. They gave him extra responsibilities and since then he has gone from strength to strength.
And despite losing both of his grandmothers, Patricia and Nina, within a month of each other in December 2015 and January 2016, he continued to work hard and ended up winning the award after being nominated by his team leader at Stratford College, Bryan Anderson.
Naresh added: “Sam and Mary pushed me to reach my full potential and made me a lot more confident. Without them I’d probably just be lounging about at home.
“Working at Vinteas is absolutely fantastic - all my colleagues are really friendly.”
Sam said: “Naresh goes beyond the level of what’s expected of him and he’s amazing with the customers. He has so much potential.
Mary, who works as a counsellor when she is not helping in the tea rooms, said: “He took to his new roles like a duck to water and he really deserves his award.”
Naresh is now aiming to earn his Level Three NVQ in management from the college.
Sam and Mary hope to open a bar serving prosecco in Leamington soon, and aim to make Naresh its manager if it opens.