by Hannah Wood

The council has named one of its long-serving staff members as Employee of the Year for 2019.

Following in her father’s footsteps, Irene Stewart has devoted much of her life to West Dunbartonshire Council.

The receptionist has been assisting visitors and staff for 18 years as a part of her front of house role, however her ties to the organisation go back much further.

Deputy Head Teacher of Clydebank High School, Wendy McInally, was named Team Leader of the Year for her work in raising attainment and making the school apart of the wider community.

Other winners included Carly McCallum, who was named Young Ambassador of the Year for her role in early learning and childcare.

Veronica Loveridge and Colette McBride received the Team of the Year award for their work as activity assistants at Crosslet House in Dumbarton.

The Communities Award was given to John Tweedie and Eddie Carti from Learning Disability Services who run the bus collecting service, for making journeys as fun as possible for users.

When she was six years old, Irene’s father Alexander Brown was given the first council officer job at Dumbarton County Council, with the whole family relocating to a house in the grounds of the old Garshake council site.

Encouraged by her dad, Irene then went on to secure her first job in the council’s print room at just 16.

On receiving her accolade, Irene said: “I love my job - this is what I was meant to do. Reception is a lovely place to be because you meet people of all kinds, and if you are nice to them, they are nice to you.”

She added: “This award means the world to me and my whole family. What a wonderful team we have in West Dunbartonshire Council.”

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Five other awards were also handed out at the ceremony in Clydebank Townhall on Tuesday, March 12, as well as several employees receiving certificates to celebrate their 25 years of service.

Council chief executive Joyce White said: “It was so inspiring to hear how so many go above and beyond every single day to ensure our residents get the best possible service.”

The Church Street Project Team received the Chief Executive’s Award for their hard work in the restoration project taking place around Dumbarton Town Centre.