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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Shared passion for community the star of Council VIP Awards

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Camaraderie and a shared passion for community were front and centre on Friday at the finals of Orkney Islands Council’s VIP Awards, where the 2023-24 winners were announced.

The Awards were launched in September 2023 to highlight the great work across Orkney Islands Council and are aimed at recognising work which reflects OIC’s values – People, Unity, Trust, Ownership and Creativity. 

The VIP in ‘VIP Awards’ stands for ‘Values In Practice’ and are aimed at recognising staff who embody and reflect the Council values in their work.

Winners were crowned across three categories – Customer Focus, Working Together, and Creativity – as chosen by a panel of colleagues from across the Council, from six finalists in each category.

Chief Executive of Orkney Islands Council, Oliver Reid, welcomed everyone to the finals, saying each of the finalists brings to life the ethos behind the Council’s values: 

“Our values are incredibly important.

“They guide the way in which we conduct ourselves, and our interactions with the public and with each other. 

“We received more than 90 nominations for these awards.

“To get to these finals was an enormous achievement. 

“These awards are a perfect example of why I am so proud to lead this Council as Chief Executive – we have staff who are working day in, day out to protect, support and serve our community with creativity, with a focus on achieving the very best outcomes for all our communities.

“For me, having an effective and strong working relationship with the Unions who represent our staff is a key indicator of the quality of our working environment.

“The fact that UNITEchose to sponsor one of our awards demonstrated their support for our efforts to celebrate and recognise the hard work and dedication of so many of our employees who go the extra mile to support, protect and serve our communities. 

“I was delighted to welcome UNITE’s representative, Sheona Macgregor, to present the award for the UNITE-sponsored Working Together category.”

The winners announced at Friday afternoon’s final: 

For the Customer Focus category: 

  • A home carer whose calm nature has helped make families adjust to challenging times. 

For the Working Together category – sponsored by the UNITE union:

  • The team at Smiddybrae House for pulling together during January’s ‘Snowmageddon’ to ensure the facility was sufficiently staffed and everyone was safe. 

For the Creativity category: 

  • The team at Orkney Library and Archive, for working in new ways and showing the library is much more than just a place to borrow books and an essential service to Orkney citizens and visitors. 

Karen Greaves is the Council’s Corporate Director of Strategy, Performance and Business Solutions, the service area within the Council with responsibility for organisational development. Following the awards, she said: 

“We’ve been delighted with the response from the community and our staff to the Awards and the wide range of nominations received. 

“I know it has been a challenge for the panel at times to decide which nominees will progress to the finals – so I think everyone who’s been nominated should be really proud.

“It shows their work has impacted on someone for the better. 

“The finals ceremony was a great opportunity to celebrate that and remind each other of the importance of the values our staff chose, and clearly continue to champion. 

“As a Council our work touches the lives of everyone – and working to these values could help make a challenging time for someone in our community just that little bit easier. 

“There’s no better motivation than that.” 

Would you like to acknowledge great work by an OIC team or staff member?

Remember – everybody’s work at the Council impacts on the community and all people in all roles can be nominated for an award. 

You can make a nomination at www.orkney.gov.uk/VIPAwards 

Nominations will go forward for the new Awards season, with the first of three rounds closing in September 2024. 

The Council would also like to thank the following for their support of the event: 

  • The Orkney Theatre and KGS for providing such a wonderful venue and helping with the setup and running. 
  • Orkney College hospitality team and students for providing the delicious canapes. 
  • Members from the KGS band Hadhirgaan led by Douglas Montgomery from the Council’s Instrumental Music team for the fabulous live music. 
  • All staff who worked on the Awards and helped the event run smoothly. 
  • Everyone including the many Councillors who came along to show their support for our staff.
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