AN employee’s outstanding contribution to the workplace has been rewarded with a cheque for £250 and a meal for two at TV chef Tony Tobin’s Reigate restaurant.

The directors of Badshot Lea Garden Centre awarded Chris Carpenter, 20, of Stoke Hills, Farnham, the title of Employee of the Year, in recognition of his exceptional service.

He was selected for his ability to interact with staff and customers, his product knowledge and his ability to fulfil customers’ wishes.

Centre manager Darren Redfern, said: “Chris’s motivation and enthusiasm has rubbed off on customers as well as staff, always doing that little bit extra to exceed customers’ expectations. Chris always has that smile about him come rain or shine that customers and staff have come to love.

“This is what Badshot Lea Garden Centre is all about and with people like Chris it makes it a place where it is a pleasure to shop.”

Chris, who is bedding plant supervisor at the centre, said: “I felt shocked and amazed that I had won Employee of the Year as I have only worked at Badshot Lea Garden Centre for the past 18 months. I was very pleased to be selected.”