THE Employee of the Year award will go to the HBID member employee who has made an outstanding contribution to the success of the business.

The judges are interested in new products or services, innovations and changes in processes, as well as expansion into new markets or different areas of business activity.

The finalists are: Amanda Holden from Escape Hair Salon; Martin Lewis from Gordon Bennetts; and Lucy Shepherd-Davies from Specsavers Hereford.

Amanda Holden first went to Escape Hair Salon in Church Street on one week's work experience from school.

She left such a good impression that she was offered a full time position on leaving school. She is now a senior stylist.

Amanda has consistently worked hard to build up her own client base. She is creative, kind, and an amazing all-round hairdresser.

Her hard work and professionalism has paid off with Amanda in the last year increasing her client base by 50 per cent.

Amanda, on top of being a fantastic member of the team, is also a kind, caring member of the public- in autumn 2014, 2015 and 2016 she made crochet poppies for the Poppy Appeal.

In Christmas 2016 she was one of the salon's instigators in getting donations and making up Christmas gift parcels for the local homeless through SHYPP.

Martin Lewis has been with Gordon Bennetts in St Peter's Square since its very beginning.

Martin was an integral part of the small team that carried out the extensive renovations to the building prior to its opening in September 2016 and continues to be a committed and loyal member of the Gordon Bennetts team.

He provides excellent customer service and has built up great relationships with the great bunch of regulars.

Martin was a key organiser of the bar's first ever beer festival which was held in April 2017 and was a great success.

Lucy Shepherd-Davies is a contact lens opticians at Specsavers Hereford.

Lucy provides outstanding customer service and is a pillar that supports not only the contact lens department but everyone within Specsavers Hereford.

She began at Specsavers Hereford more than 20 years ago as a part time optical assistant working Saturdays while at school. It was quickly apparent that she had a real passion for optics and a genuine interest in each customer that came into the practice.

Lucy was eager to progress and after joining the team full time she started her training to become a dispensing optician. Upon completion of her course, Lucy then took the next step which was to train as a contact lens optician.

Lucy consistently delivers outstanding service to her customers and always ensures they are confident in their lenses and aftercare, with this it is no surprise that we have a whole host of customers who will see no one else.