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KU cleaner receives award for 45 years of service

By River Reporter Feb 9, 2012

By Therese Doksheim

A Kingston Hill cleaner, started working as a cleaner at Kingston University in 1977, has received an award from the Vice-Chancellor for his continuing loyalty to the university.

Sean Byrne, 61, was just 16 when he started working at Kingston University’s Law and Business Campus, but said he still appreciated every day at work.

“Just arriving at Kingston Hill lifts my spirits,” Mr Byrne said. “The lecturers are wonderful and people have always appreciated me.

“You meet all kinds of different people, including fellow staff, lecturers and students,” he added. “Everyone is just so lovely – they all take the time to talk to you and make you feel part of the university family.”

Mr Byrne combined his work as a dustman with his job at the university. “I find cleaning therapeutic. It’s definitely relaxing in comparison to being out on the bins in all weathers,” he said.

He received a certificate alongside 147 other cleaning and caretaking staff from the Kingston University Service Company (KUSCO). Mr Byrne also celebrated completing the first stage of a British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) training programme.

The certificate was awarded by Kingston University’s Vice-Chancellor, Julius Weinberg, along with representatives from KUSCO and BICSc.

“It is important that our staff, no matter what they do, have chances to undertake training, learn new skills and develop. We are a university, we celebrate learning,” Mr Weinberg said.

Kingston University is the first university in the UK to take part in the shared scheme of vocational training, which results in staff receiving BICS practitioners’ licences.

Martin Chalker, general manager for KUSCO, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to recognise people for their hard work. All our staff, including Sean Byrne, are very dedicated to the university.”

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