A CHECK-OUT operator from Seamer has been named as a Woman of the Year.
Hayley Pickles, right, will attend a prestigious dinner in London in recognition of her work promoting learning in the workplace and her personal contribution to society.
She said: “I had to read the invitation three times to believe it. Often you do what you do for the love of something. You never really think of the rewards.
“I am just happy to have helped so many people and hope that this can give me the inspiration to continue doing the same for years to come.”
Mother of five Hayley left school with no qualifications and joined the Scarborough branch of Tesco 19 years ago.
She went on to train as a union representative and has campaigned for life-long learning to be available to female retail workers to improve their lives and job prospects.
She said: “I found that a lot of women my age were trying to get to grips with life after their children had left home.
“Because they are of a time when women were very much the keepers of the home, many of them missed out on further education opportunities and found themselves lost.
“I wanted to help them rediscover some of their skills so they could develop their confidence and transfer them into improved job prospects.”
Hayley has given evidence to an Education Select Committee where she spoke of the importance of cheap or free courses for poorly paid workers.
She has also written a cook book which she sells to make money for Marie Curie Cancer Care and takes part in various other fundraising activities.
At the Woman of the Year lunch, at the capital’s InterContinental Hotel, Hayley will be joined by around 400 others who have achieved something of significance.
Five awards will be presented to the most exceptional women.