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The Professional Services Recognition Awards made a spectacular return on Friday 30 June. Our wonderful winners were announced at a beautiful gala dinner and around 215 colleagues were there to celebrate the achievements of all those shortlisted from an impressive total of 456 nominations. A huge thank you to everyone that made the event possible. You can see a full list of winners and all those shortlisted below. Photos from the evening are available here and videos of all those shortlisted can be found on our SharePoint site here.

We look forward to celebrating our amazing professional services team once again – to ensure we can make this event really special, we hope to launch our next awards in early 2025.

The Project Enhance, Estate Patrol and Facilities Management teams have won this award for their pivotal role in the operational response to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, new ways of working needed to be identified. This included the vital task of delivering teaching, learning and assessment to our students. Project Enhance had the monumental task of enabling our academic community to move the University’s education portfolio from a campus based, to a flexible format, this included delivering nearly 60,000 examination sittings online within six weeks. Project Enhance has now morphed into Global Enhance and has left a positive legacy including inspiration for core ongoing projects within the Education Portfolio.

Estate patrol were available 24/7 to assist colleagues and students during the height of the pandemic and faced new challenges when trying to encourage government and University COVID-19 guidelines, giving advice on social distancing and responding to safety concerns. During this time, their roles changed significantly, they became enforcers but also councillors. As the pandemic has ended, their role has remained integral, and they continue to support our students, colleagues and University community in their greatest times of need.

The Facilities Management team provided outstanding support to all during the pandemic. The team worked tirelessly to provide safe working, teaching/study, and living spaces across our Exeter campuses. The team responded immediately to new challenges and adopted new cleaning processes to ensure prevention of, and quick response to COVID-19 cases. They were praised for the policies, processes and systems of work adopted and were used as a case study for best practice in the region. Showing great commitment and willingness to go the extra mile to support our community. Without the combined effort of these teams, the University would not have been able to provide such an exceptional response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Runners up for Excellence

  • Andy Robinson
  • Pam Willox

The RIME project team has won this award for their successful delivery of the online Research and Impact Management Environment. This was the culmination of an outstanding collective effort over a challenging period. Their ways of working, their collaborative endeavour, their success in bringing together a broad and diverse group of colleagues from different divisions together, illustrate some of the stand-out qualities which make the team worthy recipients of this award. A special mention to Rick Walker for a superb job in the management of the project and pulling together insights and problem-solving capacities.

Runners up for Discovery

  • Online Examinations Project and Delivery Team
  • The School of Education Partnership Office

Cathryn Baker has won this award for her invaluable contribution to the newly created role of PGR Education Welfare Advisor for Streatham, Penryn and St Lukes campuses. Her enormous contribution has involved providing consistently excellent support across all our University’s PGR community, including throughout the pandemic. Cathryn is the primary point of contact for all PGRs, a group which reports some of the highest levels of mental health struggles of all students. She balances a significant workload with consistently efficient, effective and empathetic support to PGRs, supervisors and PGR support services, resolving complex and stressful situations on a daily basis with respect and compassion. Mental health and wellbeing is essential to a positive research culture and Cathryn embodies the respect integral to building that culture through the care she demonstrates in her work.

Runners up for Respect

  • Leo Brooke
  • Internal Communications

Jasper Privett and Lena Worwood have jointly won this award for contributions made through their respective roles as EDI Advisors. Both Jasper and Lena are co-chairs of the LGBTQ+ colleague network and co-founders of Trans Café, providing vital opportunities for community members to connect, access support and spend time together. Jasper and Lena’s work has helped to foster a sense of community, and made substantial, life-changing difference to the lives of many people. Lena and Jasper run training sessions and offer advice and support to ensure that our University and the city of Exeter, can become a better, more inclusive city for everyone. Lena has also implemented meaningful changes to improve the lives of disabled colleagues and students, tirelessly advocating on behalf of neurodiverse communities and raising awareness of the difficulties they can face through her organisation of events and activities.

Runners up for Inclusion

  • Rachel Griffiths
  • Success for All Fund Team

Residential Services and Event Exeter are joint winners for their incredible effort in supporting our students after the discovery of an unexploded World War 2 bomb. On the 26 February 2021, a major incident was declared. Already in a third national lockdown due to COVID-19, the two departments united to form an emergency response team. This included rehousing over 1400 students, many who were far from home and extremely anxious. The teams liaised with hotels and accommodation providers to secure safe shelter for those displaced. Alongside logistical planning, they found themselves providing welfare and emotional support to those affected including international students and families. Thankfully, the bomb was safely detonated, though the aftermath of the incident continued for months, and many residences needed structural repair work. The response from the two teams was truly exceptional and thanks to their efforts, all students were evacuated and crucially, no one was hurt.

Runners up for Community

  • Exeter Cares Project
  • One Chance Left Project Team

Charlie Reeley has won this award for his work over the last 16-month period as an aboricultural apprentice. During this time Charlie has exhibited an exemplary level of dedication, willingness, as well as a passion for trees and the environment. He is already extremely technically proficient, aboriculture requires a wide range of skills including the ability to safely climb trees, prune branches etc. All of these tasks can be physically tiring and technically difficult, but Charlie already has a level of skill far beyond that expected for his degree of experience. His depth of knowledge allows him to suggest new or different ways of working, which he communicates effectively with colleagues. Charlie consistently demonstrates commitment to professional development and desire to learning new skills and is highly valued by the Grounds team.

Runners up for the Rising Star of the Year

  • Eleanor Cook
  • Leah Sidney

Daniela has won this award for championing lab sustainability at our University, leading the introduction of LEAF green lab accreditation for the last two years across all campuses. Daniela has helped all our labs to cut their emissions and waste, as well as training colleagues in best sustainable practices. She has volunteered to support collaborators from the Aarhus University in Denmark in improving the sustainability of their labs also. Daniela is a strong force for good for the environment and sustainability of University of Exeter laboratories.

Runners up for Environment and Sustainability

  • Catering and Retail Services, Commercial Operations teams
  • Grounds Team

Becca Pettitt, Andy Coles and Charley Sweet have won this award for the team effort that went into the production of the Stormzy video, when he received his honorary degree from University in 2022. The video was viewed by 1.5 million people with a potential reach of 205 million. A special mention goes to Becca Pettitt for her success in increasing engagement across a number of platforms. She has provided excellent reels via Instagram and was instrumental in setting up the University’s TikTok account. Becca’s original idea for a TikTok post about the Forum Hill achieved over 205.2k organic views and integral to the University reaching wider audiences.

Runners up for the Roddy Ross Award for Innovation

  • Entrepreneurial Researcher Programme Team
  • Strategic Procurement Team

Charlie has won this award for her incredible customer service in the IT Services Desktop team. Her knowledge is expansive and she is an expert at helping people understand issues with their IT systems - colleagues start with a problem and end up with it solved, with new knowledge and having had a great experience. Charlie is known for being supportive and is a Mental Health First Aider. She utilises these skills across the organisation with her customers and has become the go-to person for accessibility software, where specialist knowledge and dedicated support is required. Charlie is a natural leader who brings people along with her in whatever she is doing. She is a real superhero and makes working at the University a better experience for those she works with.

Runners up for David Allen Hero of the Year

  • Kate Lindsell
  • Katie Worth
  • Alex Huke
  • Roo Haywood Smith