The positive difference West Sussex County Council staff make to the lives of residents has been recognised at its first-ever annual awards ceremony.
Among the 30 winners was Kelly Pierce, a consultant midwife who is leading a new digital project with the NHS to help families find the right support during the first years of their child’s life.
Called ‘Family Assist’, this website connects parents with a wide range of information and resources and demonstrates how technology is being used successfully to improve the lives of West Sussex residents.
Other winners include the Fostering Team, who work closely with carers and help them parent children in very difficult circumstances. They build close relationships with the carers to make sure the first signs of anxiety and trauma are spotted in the children.
The Sustainability Team have also been recognised for their recent successes. They have helped to launch several ‘Refill’ schemes across the county which means people can fill up water bottles for free. They have also introduced electric pool cars which county council staff can use at work and electric vehicle charging points at council buildings.
This is the first year the event has taken place. It was held at Chichester College last Thursday (November 22) and was funded by the council’s private sector corporate partners.
Kelly, winner of the ‘genuinely valued award’, said: “I feel absolutely elated because you do this for the residents and I know what a difference it’s made to them and so it’s just really nice to get some recognition.
“All of these things are absolutely a team effort and I’m just really honoured and proud of the team for getting us this far and for creating what I think is a fantastic service for families.
“You just go about the job doing what you think is the right thing to do, doing this for people and making a difference to mums and babies and families. You don’t expect to get recognition but when you do it makes you really proud.”
Connie Leatherland won the ‘listen and act upon award’ for her role recruiting children’s social care workers. She said: “I feel completely shocked, I really wasn’t expecting it at all, I’m completely overwhelmed and feel really, really appreciated as well.
“It means a lot, I’ve not worked for the council that long, I’ve only been here just over 18 months now. I absolutely love my job and to be able to be awarded for what I do as well, I really didn’t think I was going to get this - I was just doing my job.”
Lionel Barnard, chairman of the county council, said: “Our staff are very often the unsung heroes of the county, supporting residents of all ages and across many aspects of their lives.
“The awards represent the values all our staff strive to embody.
“I know that choosing just a few winners was no easy task, but these particular individuals and teams have gone above and beyond to serve residents and put customers at the centre of all they do.”
Customer centred – Maisie Howe
Genuinely valued – Kelly Pierce
Honest and realistic – Thomas Strivens
Listen and act upon – Connie Leatherland
Trust and support – Linda Warwick
Newcomer of the year – Julie Robinson
Manager of the year - Jane Moseley
Team of the year – Sustainability Team
Partnership working of the year - The Partnerships and Communities Team
Special recognition - Fostering Team North – Team 2
All award winners were presented with a trophy and certificate at the awards ceremony.
Staff were nominated for the awards by their colleagues at the county council and the winners were chosen by the senior management team.
The event was sponsored by the following corporate partners: PwC, Capita, Biffa, Willmott Dixon, Kier Construction, CSM Active, Beard Construction, Chartwells and Penna.