Videos shine a light on the stories behind our Star Award winners

In my post to announce the Star Awards results last month I spoke about my pride in our individuals and teams. Pride in the work we do every day of every week.

I thought it would be good to share the videos that were prepared for the awards, the work of students from North East Scotland College who volunteered their time, to tell the story behind the projects and initiatives that were recognised on the night.

Purpose, Pride, Team, Trust, Value – all of the guiding principle are in the spotlight and I think we can all take great inspiration from the achievements of our colleagues.

I’ll let the pictures speak louder than words, so a brief post to introduce the videos. Our thanks and appreciation go to the students for their creative efforts and of course to the stars of the screen from across the Council for taking part and helping to tell the stories that are worthy of sharing.

Rising Star

This award celebrates an individual who has shone in their new role in the Council.

Winner: Hataichanok (Jan) Saevanee.

Finalists: Jade Leyden; Emma Shanks.

Everyone knows Hataichanok as Jan and pretty much everyone that she supports at work makes a point of seeking out her chief officer to tell him how wonderful she is. Jan has an energy and positivity that infects everyone she works with. Jan came into the new Business Intelligence Unit (BIU), in mid-2018. Since then Jan has been an absolute star. One of the “big jobs” for BIU in 2018/19 was to start using a new tool (PowerBi). We would not have been able to do this without Jan. Some of us assumed she was an expert, but the truth is that she self-educated herself in her own time. She is now the Council’s “go to” person on PowerBi and is in very high demand.

 

Team of the Year

This award is for a team who have either achieved outstanding performance levels and customer satisfaction or worked in a focussed and unified way to deliver a desired objective for the Council and City.

Winner: Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership Learning Disability Team and the in-house services (Len Ironside Centre & ACCLDICS)

Finalists: Environmental Services Clean Up Aberdeen Team; Lochside Academy Support Staff Team.

The social work team work tirelessly to ensure the outcomes for people with disabilities are of the highest standards. They monitor adult support and protection referrals to ensure the safety of vulnerable people within the community while prioritising reviews and transitions to services for people and their families. They do this with professionalism, dedication and care. The Health team provide support by ensuring the right equipment is in place or a social story has been completed in order for a supported person to understand what is happening to ease the transition to a new home. Working closely together colleagues can identify a problem or difficulty and work quickly and efficiently because they work together for the best outcomes possible for everyone.

 

Improving Staff Experience

This award is for an individual or team whose behaviour creates a positive culture and enhances the experience of our staff.

Winner: Sean Ewing.

Finalists: Kay Johnston; Kittybrewster Catering team, Dorota Myszka and Marta Czajkowska.

Sean has proven outstanding leadership and resourcefulness within the Energy Team. Sean has arranged training, mentoring and development and always puts the wellbeing and morale of his team first. A joiner to trade, his knowledge in this area and many others across the Council is of tremendous value to the team.

 

Improving Customer Experience

This award is for an individual or team who has either demonstrated exceptional customer service or has enhanced how customers experience our services.

Winner: Digital Schools Admission Team.

Finalists: Care Management West Team; Jenny Rae.

Getting your child into school has been managed using paper forms for many years with the process which required many forms to be completed by parents/guardians. This year the team has transformed the staff and ‘customer’ experience with the launch of a digital admissions process. Parents/guardians can now apply for any school with a single online form for any term, and any year group throughout the year. All communications are generated instantly by email, with the process redesigned to gather evidence up front and highlight additional support needs earlier to enable better planning for the child’s education. The team included: Customer Development who led the initial business analysis, Education sponsored the project and ensured that outcomes were focused on Getting It Right For Every Child and the Legal Team ensured compliance with the Education Acts and governance.

 

Collaboration

The collaboration award is for individuals or teams who have demonstrated excellence in working together.

Winner: Bridge of Don Remembers.

Finalists: Leigh Houston (Airyhall Primary School); Rosemount Community Centre.

Bridge of Don Remembers was a collaboration between nine head or depute head teachers at schools in Bridge of Don, three local churches and the local branch of Legion Scotland. The project marked the centenary of the 1918 armistice. By working together, they increased the depth and richness of the project giving the children a greater learning experience and encouraged a whole community to get involved.

 

Improving Use of Resources

This award is for an individual or team that strive for best value, effectively managing their resources whilst still delivering outcomes.

Winner: Countryside Ranger Service.

Finalists: PEEP Project; Moira MacIver (Bucksburn Partnership).

The Countryside Rangers have a long history of having to deliver a lot of projects to improve the wildlife habitats of the Council’s fantastic 25 countryside sites totalling over 1200ha in area. To deliver the work needed for managing these sites volunteers have been key. The countryside rangers are constantly promoting the service and the benefits that volunteers can gain from it. In the last year volunteers have committed over 2140 hours of time (equivalent to more than 300 days) to help manage these sites.

 

Innovation

This award recognises an individual or a team who have demonstrated an innovative approach and improved the way we do business. The award for Innovation was voted for during the award ceremony.

Winner: Daniel Shand and Norman Adams (Council Gardener’s blog).

Finalists: Elaine Buchan, Gemma Simpson, Hataichanok (Jan) Saevanee (Data Register); Angela Jane Hesketh (Employee mental health and wellbeing).

Daniel (council gardener) and Norman (videographer) have created a monthly gardening blog to inspire others to get into gardening and encourage people to visit Aberdeen’s beautiful parks and green spaces. The blog is also used to shine a light on all the different council services, Friends of groups, schools, community groups and charities, who all work tirelessly to make the city a great place to live and work. The blog is a great way of passing on expert advice from Daniel while Norman is also showcasing the knowledge and skill the Council has in creating video that engages with all ages.

Shining Star

This award is given for an individual who has reacted to a situation out with their role within the Council. A situation that required their involvement to ensure that a customer or a colleague was given the assistance they required in a very rare situation, to enable them to overcome difficulty or to recover from an event that has had a significant impact on their health.

Winner: Emily Snowdon.

 

People’s Champion

This award is for an individual or team who are an unsung hero and deserve recognition for the work they do and is chosen by the readers of the Evening Express.

Winner: Bill Esslemont (School crossing patroller, Woodside School)

Finalist: Steven Shaw.

Bill was nominated by the pupils and staff at Woodside Primary School for his work as their school crossing patroller. Over the years Bill has earned the respect of the children, as you can see from these quotes: “Bill can say hello or good morning in several languages and greets everyone by name and with a smile” and “Bill always makes sure we are safe and he even reminds me to bring my ukulele to school!”. Pupils always listen to him to ensure they are safe while walking to and from school. Bill also arrives early for work in the winter, to ensure the paths and crossing area are gritted properly before the children arrive.

Long service awards (40 years service to Aberdeen City Council)

Wilma Wallace, Malcolm Brown, Alison Simpson, Andrew Gaffron, Sandy Scott, Michael Johnston, William Milne, William Muir, Philip Roger, Lewis Shewan, Graham Shand.