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Craig’s 20-year contribution rewarded at New Fairlop Oak

• People

Craig Flindall celebrated 20 years’ service with Wetherspoon, during 2019, and his family is understandably proud of his achievement.

Craig, an associate at The New Fairlop Oak (Barkingside), has learning difficulties, although that hasn’t stopped him from being an integral part of the team for two decades.

His mum, Chris, said: “Craig is very keen to go to work each day – and this is because of the atmosphere which pub manager Karen has created over the years.

“She has always dealt with any issues promptly and ensures that all staff treat Craig with respect.

“He will only ever be able to work at the pub during the daytime, and does very few hours, but I am truly grateful for those few hours each week.

“I have seen my son grow in confidence and speak to more people, without fear, than I ever thought possible.”

Craig was presented by the company with a certificate, for his 20 years’ service, which is framed and takes pride of place in his bedroom at home, as well as a badge.

Chris added: “He brings the certificate out to show to any relative or friend who visits us and is very proud of it. He won’t wear his badge, for fear of losing it!”

Unable to attend the company’s official annual awards dinner, Craig and his family enjoyed a celebration meal together, courtesy of the company. The family also travelled to New Zealand, their own way of celebrating his 20 years with Wetherspoon.

Pub manager Karen Burdett concluded: “Congratulations to Craig on a remarkable achievement of 20 years’ service.

“When he first arrived at the pub, he was nervous of the customers and could do only a few jobs which didn’t involve meeting the public.

“He has changed so much over the years, grown in confidence and experience and is a truly valued team member.”