London Colney car crash victim wins achiever award

PUBLISHED: 07:10 10 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:39 06 May 2010

Matthew Curtis with Tanith Dodge, director of human resources, and Bernie Foster from the London Colney store

Matthew Curtis with Tanith Dodge, director of human resources, and Bernie Foster from the London Colney store

GETTING back on track after suffering a serious car accident has won a London Colney Marks & Spencer employee a Best Achiever award. Matthew Curtis, aged 23, was hospitalised for two years following a car crash in 2001 and, despite several years of intens

GETTING back on track after suffering a serious car accident has won a London Colney Marks & Spencer employee a Best Achiever award.

Matthew Curtis, aged 23, was hospitalised for two years following a car crash in 2001 and, despite several years of intensive speech and physical therapy, he still hasn't totally recovered from the trauma.

In an attempt to change his life for the better Matthew, who lives in Hemel Hempstead, joined the M&S Marks & Start programme last year. Launched in 2004, the scheme supports disadvantaged people who face real barriers getting a job and is the UK's biggest company-led work experience initiative.

With the support of his M&S colleagues, Matthew gradually overcame his difficulties and is now a valued member of the London Colney team. On top of the five customer service awards he has already won, Matthew was recognised as one of Marks & Start's Best Achievers at the Plan A Employee Volunteer Awards last month.

Matthew, who met his fiancée Sophie Cairncross on the Marks & Start programme, said of the programme: "It's fantastic and it not only helped me build up my confidence, but also gave me the courage to embrace new challenges and opportunities. I feel that I have a purpose in life now and meeting Sophie was also undoubtedly a high point of the programme.

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