Council workers celebrated at awards ceremony

Unsung heroes, Rob McNully, Louise White, Jon Medcalf, Dawn Bond and Jayne Watkinson, at Calderdale Council Star Awards, Victoria Theatre, Halifax
Unsung heroes, Rob McNully, Louise White, Jon Medcalf, Dawn Bond and Jayne Watkinson, at Calderdale Council Star Awards, Victoria Theatre, Halifax

Calderdale Council celebrated the hard work and dedication of colleagues with a recognition afternoon at the Victoria Theatre, Halifax, last week.

The ‘Our Stars’ event recognised the inspirational example set by individuals, teams and services across the council over the last 12 months, with the shortlisted employees being nominated by colleagues.

Merran McRae, Chief Executive of Calderdale Council, said: “The Our Stars event was a great way to show appreciation for all those who have made a contribution to Calderdale’s success over the last year.

“We’ve set records, won national awards and led the way with innovative ideas. The stories and achievements we have heard have been extraordinary – a showcase of the amazing work, dedication and commitment our colleagues put in each and every day.

“Nominees for the awards came from all Calderdale service areas and entertainment was provided by the council’s own staff, and Calderdale schools who performed live music both before and after the event.”

The winners:

Aspirational leadership award – Sponsored by Haven

Sarah Richardson - Customer Access Manager (Winner)

Sarah’s nomination form said: “She lives and breathes the Council’s vision to be a lean, customer focussed organisation that provides leadership and values the money it spends on behalf of local tax payers.”

Access to Services has achieved huge savings, and to achieve this Sarah has had to demonstrate flexibility, agility and tenacity and inspire the same attitude in her teams.

Jo Richmond - Neighbourhoods and Cohesion Manager (runner up)

Sarah Smith - HR Team Leader – Schools (runner up)

Customer Service Excellence – Sponsored by Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation

Karen Maude - Team Manager Gateway to Care (Winner)

Karen has built Gateway into a team of 32 health and social care professionals who are universally acknowledged to be the best innovation in customer experience that has come out of health and social care integration in Calderdale.

This year the team handled 77,000 calls and contributed to a major reduction in avoidable admissions to residential care and hospital. As a result, Gateway was cited as a model of national best practice in the Local Government Association report on Efficiencies in Adult Social Care.

The Contact Centre (runner up)

Customer First (runner up)

Improvement and Innovation – Sponsored by Textile Innovations

Handy Person Service (Winner)

Tim Cook, Simon Carter, Scott Allison, Matthew Marshall

One large area of work for the team is the provision of external handrails for homes. In the last few months the team have worked hard on finding an alternative to welded rails. An alternative has been found, which allows the handy men to construct these rails. This is being done far more quickly, allowing customers’ needs to be met substantially sooner. This is reducing risks of slips, trips and falls and will ultimately save on A&E and hospital admissions.

Samantha Ward - Senior Technical Officer (runner up)

Sinead Lister - Advanced Practitioner (runner up)

Outstanding Contribution – Sponsored by Lattitude 7

Yorkshire Festival team – (Winner)

· Miriam Loxham - Project Officer

· Fran Lister - Campaigns Officer

· Peter Vardy - Events and Licensing Officer

· Kelsey Mitchell – Leisure assistant

· Stuart Muxlow - Project Manager

· Michael Holgate - Account Manager - Services for Schools

· Katie Kinsella - Principal Tourism Officer

· Claire Slattery – Arts and Heritage Manager

The Yorkshire Festival team came together to ensure that the people of Calderdale had the best possible opportunities to be part of the 100 Cultural Festival for the Tour de France and the two days of the bike race. In the office all week, at weekends and evenings, members of this team worked in car parks, pubs, markets, shopping precincts and in the middle of the Calderdale countryside, in rain and shine, ensuring that the activities were successful and accessible and ensuring that the public was safe, hydrated and happy throughout. The Festival recently won the national accolade “Cultural Event of the Year

Alex Waugh - Youth Employment Advisor (runner up)

Pauline Connolly - British Sign Language Interpreter (runner up)

Steve Woodhead - Service Manager Family Support (runner up)

Unsung Hero – Sponsored by Circuit Electrical

Dawn Bond and Louise White - Support Planners (Joint winners)

Both Louise and Dawn are incredibly passionate about their work. They provide continuing and selfless support to the people of Calderdale living with Dementia and their carers. Both Louise and Dawn are Dementia friends and volunteer in their own time their services to the Alzheimer’s Society. Dawn happily sacrifices her lunch break on a Monday to volunteer at the ‘Singing for the Brain’ session in the Upper Valley and Louise chose to reduce her hours at work to allow her to volunteer at the Alzheimer’s cafe on a Friday. These ladies give their time freely and will tell you how the greatest reward is seeing the people smile.

Gail Mellor - PA to Director (runner up)
Wanda Lawson – Secretary to Head of Neighbourhoods (runner up)

Jon Medcalf - Area Manager : Central Area (runner up)

Jayne Watkinson - Area Manager (East), (runner up)

Rob McNally - Broadband Demand Stimulation Officer (runner up)

Volunteer of the Year

Kirsty Webster – (Winner) Youth offending team

Kirsty has attended a lot of interviews over the year to support young people and ensure they are being treated fairly. Kirsty recently started to mentor young people in custody so that they have someone to support them in their transition back into the community when they are released.

Elizabeth Oakes - Calderdale Breastfeeding

Carol Bibby – Upper Valley litter free