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Borough’s unsung heroes collect awards

05 December 2017

Staff Awards group photograph.

The outstanding achievements of our employees were recognised during The Ace Staff Awards held at the town hall.

Seven awards were presented to individuals and a team after more than 400 staff were nominated by local residents and colleagues earlier this year for going the extra mile when providing services.

The Pride of the Borough Award, solely nominated by local people, went to social care assistant Kim Moore for going 'above and beyond providing support and help around the clock to vulnerable residents', described as an 'angel on earth.' She also helped to save the life of one of her clients.

Employee of the year was awarded to gardener David Genesis. As well as keeping Rochdale's gardens and town centre to a high standard, he was responsible for installing the large carpet-bed display next to John Bright's statue in Broadfield Park. He takes great pride in ensuring the memorial gardens are kept to a very high standard and following the tragic events at the Manchester Arena was involved in producing a 'Manchester Bee' floral display near the John Bright statue.Volunteer of the Year - Helen Leach, Young Employee of the Year - Ruhena Begum, Employee of the Year - David Genesis.

Volunteer of the year was our legal officer Helen Leach, in recognition of her tireless work to help the borough's less privileged. Helen, who leads on much of council's charity work in her own time, has helped raise tens of thousands of pounds for good causes, including organising the annual charity abseil down the town hall clock tower.

'Staff nominated and winning awards all demonstrated incredible devotion and dedication, helping to make the borough a better place'

Our young adult team scooped team of the year. It was established to support adult victims of child sexual exploitation who have experienced trauma and abuse. Comprising social workers, support planners and employment and skills staff, they support young people to get their lives back on track, developing innovative practices whilst gaining the trust of the young people.

Team of the Year - Young Adult Team.

Ruhena Begum, one of the borough's brightest new talents described as a 'superb ambassador for the council', won young employee of the year. The Talk English Officer joined the council when she was just 18. As well as delivering English classes, Ruhena supports and manages volunteers, who play a key part in the project's success.

Young people's support officer Emily Nickson won the innovation award for her work delivering our 'Early Help' programme, which supports separated parents to improve their relationships; reducing the impact on the wellbeing of their children. Emily's work was described as 'inspiring, forward-thinking and visionary'.

The outstanding achievement award was won by youth worker Yasin Khan who tragically passed away in October after a short illness. The father of 3 who dedicated his life to helping troubled youngsters and had worked for the council for 18 years, received an emotional standing ovation and a minute's applause at the end of the ceremony at Rochdale Town Hall before the council's chief executive Steve Rumbelow paid a moving tribute, describing him as a great role model and perfect advocate for the borough:

"Yasin worked with great passion and enthusiasm in everything he did. He has left a great legacy, he trained over 5,000 young people in safeguarding and his materials will continue to be used across the borough to help more young people.  I am only sorry I wasn't able to thank him personally at the award ceremony."

Yasin's award was collected on behalf of his family by Sandra Bowness, assistant director of early help and Joanne Osborne from award sponsor Agilyis.

The evening was opened by the Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Ian Duckworth, who said all councillors are grateful for the hard work and dedication of staff:

"To even be nominated for an award a fantastic achievement.  Being Mayor is a real education, and I have seen first-hand the huge amount of hard work that goes on behind the scenes, often unnoticed. I want to thank our sponsors who joined us for the evening and it is their support that has helped us stage such a wonderful evening."

Mr Rumbelow added:

"Against a challenging backdrop of huge change, reductions in staff and budgets, the commitment and professionalism of our staff has remained constant. The staff nominated and winning awards all demonstrated incredible devotion and dedication, helping to make the borough a better place - protecting our most vulnerable residents, creating more opportunities, improving schools and doing jobs that many overlook or take for granted. The Ace Awards recognised the very best of the best and I was immensely proud."

The Ace Awards were sponsored by BT, Rochdale Development Agency, Countryside, Keepmoat Homes, Cooney Civil Engineering Contractors, Link4Life and Agilisys.

More information on the winners and photographs from the Ace Awards.