SWM CRC celebrates staff excellence at inaugural awards ceremony

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Over 90 people attended the inaugural Staffordshire & West Midlands CRC Staff Excellence Awards event on the morning of 21st November.

The award-winning team from the Mariposa women's project in Sandwell - just some of the many staff to celebrate achievements

The award-winning team from the Mariposa women’s project in Sandwell – just some of the many staff to celebrate achievements

Held at the Holiday Inn in Birmingham city centre, it was in fact the sixth year that an event of its kind had been held in SWM, with similar events being held by the former Probation Trust and area.

Among staff present were those who had received one of the CRC’s category awards, or achieved qualifications or long service awards during the year. An album of photos from the event is available to download here.

Meanwhile, magician Jason Ravenscroft went from table to table, amazing all with his card tricks.

Chief Executive Catherine Holland said: “This event is a real testament to the quality of the employees we have, their resilience and their commitment to develop themselves in their role; thereby increasing levels of service and professionalism to all of those with whom we work, who are very often on the margins of society.”

All staff who received an excellence award were eligible for two special awards: The Chief Executive’s Award and the Employee of the Year.

The Chief Executive’s Award recognises employees who don’t necessarily work on the front line but whose service is vital to delivering the priorities of the CRC.  All those nominated for the individual staff excellence awards are automatically considered as a potential winner of this award.

CEO Catherine Holland with Philomena Grey and her Chief Executive's Award

CEO Catherine Holland with Philomena Grey and her Chief Executive’s Award

The Chief Executive’s Award went to Philomena Grey, Senior Administration Assistant, Wolverhampton. The citation paid to tribute to “her excellent leadership skills, and management style; but also for her great humanity, zest, and passion for life.” Phil managed to guide her team into meeting critical deadlines and targets while keeping the team unified and uplifted. The citation continued: “No matter how drained she must have felt, this rarely, if ever, showed – instead she was always a beam of light to her staff.”

Also selected by the Chief Executive, the Employee of the Year award is the person or team who Catherine Holland considers to be the ‘best of the best’, and of whose work she is most proud in relation to the CRC’s mission, vision and values.

The Employee of the Year 2014 is Probation Officer Rachael Smith, for her work in obtaining funding for, and setting up, a boxing project for recovering drug users in Stoke-on-Trent.

CEO Catherine Holland with Employee of the Year Rachael Smith

CEO Cattherin Holland with Employye of the Year Rachael Smith

The Head of Stoke Probation at the time, Angela Staplehurst said, “This is an exciting initiative.  Rachael has had to work hard to secure the funding to get this innovative idea off the ground.  It is clearly meeting a need with many of our most prolific and chaotic offenders and is giving them a positive alternative route to chronic substance misuse.”

Finally, CEO Catherine Holland added: “It’s also important to remember that there are a great number of our staff who I would describe as our ‘everyday stars’ – those staff who roll their sleeves up every day and just get ‘stuck in’. Although they can’t all be here to share in this celebration, it’s important to remember that today is as much about them as it is about you all.”