This month Surrey Choices, a leading organisation dedicated to providing exceptional support services for disabled, autistic and neurodivergent people, celebrated their staff at their Recognising You: Colleague Awards at Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking. Colleagues and Surrey Choices Board Members came together to recognise this year’s winners.
Recognising You: Surrey Choices Colleague Awards 2023 are to celebrate outstanding practice and achievements by Surrey Choices staff, and to acknowledge those who are dedicated and committed to making a difference to disabled and neurodivergent people. The awards highlighted those who have demonstrated outstanding qualities, embed Core Values into their work and provide inspiration to others daily.
The award categories were based Surrey Choices’ values; Be Kind, Be Responsive, Be Collaborative, Be Courageous, Be Inclusive, Be Inspiring. Then two additional awards for The Dream Team and My Hero, the latter being nominated by someone supported by Surrey Choices, a family member or Carer.
Kelly Morris won the Be Collaborative Award for her outstanding commitment and for developing new community partnerships to create brilliant vocational opportunities for disabled people. Rachel Pankhurst started working for Surrey Choices as a Kickstarter, a government fun to support young people into work . In no time at all she started to run her own sessions sharing her musical talent with people she supports. She puts other people first and fully deserved the Be Courageous Award. Gudrun Humphries has not been with the company a long time and is already leading advocacy groups ensuring people at Surrey Choices continue to have a voice and be heard. Her determination to actively empower people saw her win the Be Inclusive Award.
Hadden Farmer, works part-time and always achieves a staggering number of paid outcomes for people he supports. Hadden goes above and beyond for people and always responds to their needs, so they feel heard. He won the Be Responsive Award. Rachel Alsop won the Be Kind Award, colleagues described her has “lovely, kind and sensitive” and someone she supports said she was “an amazing woman”. The last of the values is Be Inspiring. Martin Woodward is described by his colleagues as “The glue that keeps the service together”. He inspires not only his colleagues everyday but whilst being autistic he is a real inspiration to others around him.
The Dream Team Award went to our Human Resources team for their impressive and continuous work in recruitment, by hiring 71 people in 12 months. They have been a driving force in reducing sickness absence significantly and improving the wellbeing of staff. The My Hero Award is a category for the people Surrey Choices support and their families and Carers to nominate employees of Surrey Choices who have made a real difference to them and who have gone the extra mile. Award winner Glen Webster was nominated by a parent who was so impressed with the help her son received and his kind, calm and supportive approach to help him transition from school to supported work experience.
It was an absolute pleasure to listen to the amazing stories and words colleagues had to share about each other. It was a real demonstration of the talented, hardworking and kind people we have working at Surrey Choices. – Martin Farrow, Managing Director
The Surrey Choices Recognising You: Colleague Awards had a profound impact on everyone in the room. From tears of joy, cheering, and laughing, the guests walked away feeling inspired and proud to work for Surrey Choices. The Awards shone a light on people’s personal achievements, growth and fulfilment with Surrey Choices. The videos and pictures on the day showed a real sense of unity and camaraderie within the organisation.
You can learn more about all the winners here