New job seams sew good for Maria

A FORMER Dewhirst seamstress has got her future all sewn up after being helped to find a new role to keep her machine running.

Maria Cave, 47 from Middlesbrough, once worked at the former clothing firm which was a major employer in the region, and is now celebrating after recruitment firm KMS Partners found her the perfect fit at Ashbank Laundry in Teesside.

After years of working in a call centre, Maria said she was delighted to be approached by KMS with an opportunity to go back into the industry she loved.

She said: “Sewing is what I love – I’ve had a machine since I was three-years-old so even on my first day at Ashbank I immediately felt like I was home again.

“KMS approached me with the opportunity after seeing the skills on my CV that I’d posted on a jobs website and they made the transition really easy – there’s been no stress at all and I still have regular contact with them to make sure I get all I need to work happily and effectively here at Ashbank.”

Ashbank Laundry provides a full laundry service, renting and laundering linen for everything from kitchens to bedrooms, with its client list including Durham University, Headlam Hall and Yorebridge House.

With the textiles industry near extinction in the North East, bosses at the laundry firm have thanked KMS for finding a candidate with real experience and skills for their vacancy to repair linen and clothing.

Stephen Gosnay, general manager of the business, said: “We’d tried repeatedly to find someone suitable for the role, but fashion students just didn’t cut it because they didn’t have the experience of working in an industrial and fast-paced environment like Maria did for so many years.

“We had never used a recruitment firm before, but we soon realised that because sewing is a dying art we needed to get the experts involved. Without KMS I doubt we would have been able to fill the position, never mind so quickly, so it’s been fantastic for us to get Maria started so soon and we can continue to offer a full service to our clients.”

Maria is now on a three-month probation period to ensure she is being given the right training and support to fulfil her role. Something KMS head of client services Gemma Holmes said is a vital part of the recruitment service the business offers.

Gemma said: “Ashbank is a fantastic business that has really aggressive growth plans, so finding the right person with the right skills quickly was really important so the company could continue to grow at pace.

“We don’t just advertise roles – we’re different. KMS actively search for candidates that meet our clients’ needs, so we spent plenty of time speaking with Stephen to understand his requirements and then speaking with Maria to understand her skillset to make sure this hire would be a perfect match for both parties.”

Ashbank has enjoyed continued growth since it was founded in 2012, after parting from laundry and detergent business Stanland Group. Thanks to customer referrals and testimonials, the business has recently won 16 new contracts and doubled its turnover with the aim of becoming the region’s leading provider of laundry services.

Stephen added: “The future looks really bright for Ashbank and we’re delighted that the addition of Maria has helped to bolster our offer to our clients to help us realise our ambitions.”

For more information on Ashbank Laundy Centre visit www.ashbanklaundry.co.uk, or for more information on KMS Partners visit www.kmspartners.co.uk.