TO SAY the last year has been difficult for Josh Hughes would be an understatement.
But thanks to the support of his employers Ross Catanzariti and Tony Jones from Rossies Foodworks – among others – he’s got through it.
In May last year, Josh’s mother Christine passed away suddenly from a blood clot in her leg.
Just the year before that, his uncle passed away from a heart attack.
His father, Paul Hughes, has had to deal with not only losing his brother, but also his wife in the space of 18 months, and was been left to raise his four-year-old twin girls on his own.
Josh’s sister, Caitlan, had a baby just a few months after their mum passed away.
But through all the turmoil, Josh has had his employers steadfast behind him.
Which is why last week, Rossies Foodworks was recognised at the Compassionate Employer Recognition Awards from the Compassionate Friends association.
Josh’s grandparents, Bill and Valery Hughes, nominated Rossies for the award and visited Griffith last week to present it.
The couple, from Victoria, discovered Compassionate Friends after their son Bill Junior passed away.
“They really helped us, psychologically, because they’ve all lost siblings or children,” Mr Hughes said.
“When there’s a death, all your family and friends rally around until the funeral, and then you’re kind of left by yourself.
“When Josh wanted to go back to work, there was no pressure on him, they went above and beyond to help.”
For Josh, the support was greatly appreciated.
“It made things heaps easier,” Josh said.
“These guys were so supportive – we had the twins to look after so it was really hard.”
Mr Jones and Mr Catanzariti said Josh was a valued employee and they’d do the same for anyone in that situation.
“We never expected to get an award,” Mr Catanzariti said.
“It’s nice, it shows appreciation for what we’d normally do for anyone.
“Everyone has different circumstances and we try to help where we can.”