Edinburgh College student wins spa therapist award

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Edinburgh College beauty student Coreen Docherty was named UK Spa Therapist of the Year at the Macdonald Hotels & Resorts High Achievers Awards 2014.

Coreen took home the prize in the hotel group’s annual awards, which celebrate its outstanding staff in a range of categories.

Coreen, who lives in Bathgate, is on the second year of the HND Beauty Therapy at Edinburgh College and also works in the Leisure Club and Spa at the Macdonald Houstoun House Hotel in Uphall in West Lothian. 

She went through rigorous testing for the award, carrying out a range of beauty therapies in successive rounds of competition at Macdonald Hotels in Chester for the semi-final and Manchester for the final. 

Coreen picked up her prize at the awards ceremony at Macdonald Burlington Hotel in Birmingham.

Frances Bain, curriculum manager of Hairdressing, Beauty and Complementary Therapy at the college, said: “We are delighted with the wonderful news that Coreen has been awarded Spa Therapist of the Year by her employer, Macdonald Hotels. It is a fantastic achievement for someone at such an early stage in her career. It is also great news for Edinburgh College and we are very proud of her.

Coreen, who admitted she was still in shock that she had won the award, said: “Beauty therapy has always been something I wanted to do. I also felt that this was something I was good at and enjoyed.  I love the products we work with. I wanted to come to Edinburgh College because the Hair and Beauty department has a great reputation.

“I’ve had a lot of support from lecturers. They’ve been really good for encouraging me.  The products I was tested on were not treatments that are currently studied at the college, but the background knowledge I’ve gained through studying for my HND has added to my confidence in my abilities.”

Now in its seventh year, the Macdonald Hotels & Resorts High Achievers Awards offer individual hotels the opportunity to nominate their outstanding team members to find the highest-achieving employees in a range of categories including reception, restaurant and bar, and housekeeping. With more than 100 staff nominated across the group's 45 hotels, candidates in all categories underwent a series of rigorous tests to be determined as the overall winner. Along with role-specific criteria, nominees were judged on their knowledge of the group, the delivery of their role and the feedback received from their general manager and customers.

The category of Spa Therapist of the Year was extremely competitive with over 20 entrants and seven exceptional candidates shortlisted.  Coreen’s passion for the hotel, her adherence to the highest of standards and her dedication to understanding the needs of her guests led to her achievement of the title.

Herve Bernier, general manager of Macdonald Houstoun House said: “I’m incredibly proud of Coreen for her award win. She is a fantastic member of the team at Macdonald Houstoun House and it is great to have her hard work acknowledged.”

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