Breckland District Council recognises talent at annual “VIP” awards

12th July 2019

Breckland District Council’s 5th Annual “Value in People” Awards took place on 20th June 2019 to recognise those teams and individuals across the council who work hard to deliver the Council’s vision of ensuring that Breckland is “a place where people and business can thrive”.

With awards for those staff who have best embodied the organisation’s Staff Values of Respect, Integrity, Working Together and Empowerment, as well as awards for Team of the Year, Employee of the Year and Achievement of the Year, the awards are a chance for all staff to recognise and celebrate each other’s success.

Breckland Council’s Chief Executive, Anna Graves, said: “Our annual staff awards event provides us with an opportunity to get together and celebrate the fantastic individual achievements, personal development, and team successes of our award winners and recognise those who truly embody the organisation’s values. What’s essential is that the nominees are put forward by their colleagues, so everybody in the running knows that they are highly valued by their peers. This also helps make sure that all staff are engaged in the recognition programme, which is demonstrated by the record-breaking number of nominations received this year”.

The council’s elected members are fully supportive of the VIP Awards at Breckland with Council Leader, Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, commenting: “I’m incredibly proud to lead an organisation that has achieved massive success over the last 12 months. Members may set the clear strategic direction for the council, but it is only through close and effective working between members and officers that we get where we want to be. It is therefore essential that we create opportunities to recognise the hard work, innovation, and commitment of the council’s staff and thank them for the difference they’ve made to communities and businesses up and down the district. The Value in People event is an important date in our calendar every year and I’m delighted to support it.”

This year, the East of England LGA were delighted to be asked to sponsor the VIP Award for the Council’s “Rising Star”; someone relatively new to the Council and / or Local Government, who has demonstrated that they have the potential to go on to a long and successful career in the sector. The winner of the award will receive mentoring from a member of EELGA’s Management Team, as well as from a professional peer working in another Council. The winner of the award, HR Manager Susie Richardson, was both shocked and delighted at being recognised by her peers. After transferring from the Housing sector as recently as November 2017 in search of a new challenge, Susie has grasped the opportunity with both hands, transforming Breckland’s approach to staff health and well-being and seeing a dramatic reduction in sickness absence year-on-year. With a personal mantra of “treating everyone as individuals” and responding to circumstances rather than relying on policies, Susie has overseen new initiatives like the “She Shed” and “Men Shed”. These are regular forums for female and male staff, working on a self-organised basis, where they can come together, talk through their problems and help each other out. Judging from the cheers and applause when Susie’s name was announced, she is a very popular and deserving winner.

Commenting on the award, Chief Executive Anna Graves said “I’m delighted Susie has been recognised for her achievements as she has brought real energy to the council’s health and wellbeing agenda, is proactive in her approach, and has built strong relationships with both fellow senior managers and members. She’s new to the public sector but this hasn’t fazed her in any way and she has an exciting career ahead of her.”

From left to right: Council Chairman Lynda Turner, EELGA Senior Manager Eddie Gibson, Breckland’s “Rising Star” - HR Manager Susie Richardson and Council Chief Executive Anna Graves

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