A CHARITY shop worker in Caldicot was the proud recipient of an award this week after winning an online vote for the best customer service in town.

Dean Baker, 45, works in the town’s St David’s Hospice Care charity shop.

He was surprised at work on Monday, October 22, by the Caldicot Community Working Together team, who organised the poll on their Facebook page.

The group promotes Caldicot town centre and encourages people to shop locally, organising events and offering regular prizes to people who support the town’s businesses.

Rachel Furmage, who set up the group six months ago, said: “We asked people to nominate the person who gives the best customer service.

“Dean got by for far the most votes.

“People kept saying how kind he was, and always smiling,” she said.

Mr Baker, who lives in Magor with his brother, who also cares for him, said: “It was a big surprise, I’m very happy.

“I like talking to people and helping people here.”

As well as being awarded a trophy for his customer service, Mr Baker, who is a big fan of buses and trains, won a trip to see the vintage bus collection owned by hire company Chepstow Classic Buses.

Shop manager Charmaine Fuller was very proud of Mr Baker’s contribution in the store.

“He really goes above and beyond to help the customers,” she said. “He helps people with their bags, and asks customers if they need help.

“He’s just wonderful. He makes the shop a better place.”

Mrs Fuller spoke warmly about how Mr Baker had become increasingly independent since he started working at the town centre shop in May last year.

“I can’t tell you how much he’s progressed – his money skills are phenomenal, he’s really come on.”

This year, Mr Baker also went on his first holiday, to Yorkshire, where he was delighted to see so many trains and even had the opportunity to ride on a steam train.

He has become a well-known, popular member of the Caldicot community.

“Everyone knows him, and always stops to chat with him,” Mrs Fuller said.

Caldicot Community Working Together’s next event will be a five-day Hallowe’en adventure for children, taking place at Caldicot Castle during the half-term school holidays (October 27-31), 11am-4pm.

There will be a Hallowe’en goody bag for each child who takes part.

Entry costs £2.50 per child.

For more information, visit the Caldicot Community Working Together Facebook page.