STAFF from Mole Country Valley Stores won six national and four runner-up awards at the recent Suitably Qualified Person (SQP) award ceremony at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington.

Matthew Blacklidge from the Piercebridge store, near Darlington, received the Newly Qualified SQP of the Year Award, while Olivia Ford-Senior, from the Thirsk store was runner-up.

Clare Gibson, Piercebridge-based Mole Country Store brand manager, said: "The ten national awards recognise the dedication, in-depth knowledge and experience available within Mole Country Stores. Our customers can be assured of the highest available level of professionalism and customer service."

Driffield Mole Country Stores received two awards. Store manager Christine Evans was the Multiple Store of the Year runner-up, while Jessie Johnson received the SQP Mastermind Award, based upon specialist product-knowledge

Hexham Mole Country Stores also received two individual awards. Catherine Johnson was Equine SQP of the Year while Hexham manager Stefanie Willey was runner-up Store Manager of the Year.

The annual SPQ awards ceremony is staged by Over-the-Counter magazine to recognise excellence and best business practice within the animal health and welfare industry.