You’ve won a what?

Posted on November 10, 2011 by

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Earlier this week, our associate company cushydoos launched the fifth annual cHeRries Awards which recognise achievements in human resources, recruitment and training in North East Scotland.

The event, which earlier this year was recognised as the ‘Best Awards Scheme’ in Scotland, is now open for award nominations and table bookings.

So, in the first part of a mini-series of cHeRries blog posts, we’re delighted to have previous cHeRry winner John Booth, Deputy Chief Executive of VSA, as a guest blogger, discussing what winning a cHeRry meant to him.


“You’ve won a what??”
“A cHeRry Award”, I said, after what felt like the 10th time of asking.
“What’s that for?”
“It is for excellence in Human Resources”
“That’s great news, congratulations; now what do cherries have to do with HR?
“Well you see…”

I certainly have had some very interesting conversations with family and friends after I received the Outstanding HR Director award for 2011, but what does it actually mean to receive such an award?

When I was first nominated for the award, although delighted to be nominated I thought (modest as ever) I was just doing my job. But The cHeRries do make you step back and reflect on some of your achievements; something we don’t do very often,  if at all, as we are busy focusing on the tasks in hand.

So whilst The cHeRries don’t provide you with international acclaim or stardom, they do provide you with a sense of achievement; that you have made a significant contribution to the success of your organisation.

Whether you agree with the name ‘cHeRries’ or not (I love the name by the way and the trophy), it’s what the awards represent that is the key thing; and that is that our profession is a critical player in delivering success within organisations and The cHeRies are a superb external platform for recognising this.

I therefore look forward once again to sharing in the success of all the nominees at the 2012 awards.


cushydoo’s note: So what does a cherry have to do with HR?!

Yes, the letters ‘HR’ are in there, but was that the only reason for the name? …Of course not!

The name for the awards is designed to encompass all the best parts of the HR industry – from individuals ‘blossoming’ at the start of their career, to being ‘cHeRry picked’ for jobs right up to being the ‘cHeRry on the cake’ at the top!

So now you know!


 A little about John

Born and raised in Aberdeen, John graduated from The Robert Gordon University with a BA (Hons) Degree in Public Policy and Management in 1996.

Since graduating John has spent his career in the Human Resources field working in both the Public and Private (oil and gas) sectors before joining the Voluntary Sector through VSA in March 2007.

As HR and Training Director at VSA*, John played an integral role in an extensive program of strategic change and modernization that has resulted in securing the long term financial future of the charity.  This was achieved with minimal disruption to the delivery of frontline services provided to the most vulnerable people in our local community.

Such changes have not only secured the charity financially, but have also resulted in improved regulatory inspection scores and a series of glowing reports from external bodies (including Investors In People).

John’s contribution to the charity was recognised in 2011 when he was awarded the ‘Outstanding HR Director’ cHeRries award and at VSA’s 140th AGM in October 2011 the Board of Trustees were delighted to announce that John had been promoted to the role of Deputy Chief Executive.