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January 2017 winners of the Tower Awards for outstanding customer service

Neville Spangenberg - IT Operations Consultant

Neville was nominated for his awards by a colleague, who wrote: "Lewes was victim of a fire on 31 October 2016. The second most affected area in the building was East F, which is where my team are based (Pension Administration Team serving East Sussex Pension Fund). As a result of the fire we were unable to use our normal place of work, nor any of our IT equipment. We were effectively blind and deaf to our customers. The incident also affected Personnel Support Unit and ESCC Payroll team. The team instigated a full Disaster Recovery plan, and as a result we were supplied with a few Surrey laptops to enable us to work. There were, however, not enough for the team to be fully operational. We then contacted Neville and he immediately understood our issues and sourced a number of ESCC laptops, which were converted for use by us. Nothing was too much trouble for him, and he has continued to fully support me and all of the affected teams throughout the full Disaster Recovery process, when there were either new users coming on board or there were issues to resolve with connectivity and access. In my view, the behaviours demonstrated, together with a fantastic customer focus and a complete can do attitude, deserves recognition. As a direct result of Neville's intervention, our team were able to get back to talking to customers and dealing with their retirement plans much quicker and with a lot less disruption."

Stuart Heyworth - Senior Education Welfare Officer

Stuart was nominated for his award by a colleague, who wrote: "Stuart goes over and above to support Children Missing Education, and will make extraordinary efforts to try to contact families to ensure that parents are making provision for their child's education. An example of this occurred recently when he was notified of a child whose parents had not applied for a reception place. This child was particularly vulnerable because he had additional physical needs and was likely to need additional support in school. Health professionals had also been in contact to raise their concerns about this child.  Stuart stuck with the case and when notified that the parent had arrived at the health centre for an appointment, raced down with a school application form which he helped the parent to complete and then personally made sure that the application was submitted to the Admissions team. This story has a positive outcome: a school place has been identified and a vulnerable child now has a school place. This is one example of many where Stuart delivers excellent customer service for Surrey County Council."

David Derek Elson - Crew commander, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service

David was nominated for his award by colleagues, who wrote: "David 'Diddy' Elson is the image of what a Fire Fighter should be. He goes the extra mile on every occasion, helping both colleagues and the public. Dave puts the utmost commitment into his work, ensuring that each and every incident is dealt with efficiently and effectively, demonstrating the courage required to provide the superior service for which SFRS strives.  On a recent incident, Dave was the commander when an unfortunate couple found themselves pinned down by a fallen oak tree. Dave's calm demeanour and excellent courage under pressure meant that the couple escaped with their lives. During routine work activities, Dave is the rock within Esher fire station, offering support and guidance, and leading by example.  Anyone with a problem goes to see Dave and he is always there to lean on. His professionalism in his job is exemplary and the world is a much better place with Dave in it."

Sally Carey - Team manager, Children with Disabilities

Sally was nominated for her award by a colleague, who wrote: "Sally Carey is an exceptional member of staff.  She is entirely committed and works tirelessly to improve outcomes for disabled children, young people, and their families by being aspirational for them. Sally's management approach is one of constructive support. She fully supports staff, ensuring that she gets the very best out of them, but also offers an exceptional service to the children and families that she works with."

Adult Social Care Liquid Logic Team

The team was nominated for their award by a Surrey County Councillor, who wrote:  "The team successfully introduced the new Liquid Logic Adult Social Care computer programme within budget and without any major issues. This installation has been readily accepted by the users of the system, which is a result of detailed pre-training sessions, the success of which is demonstrated by the ready acceptance and use by the whole service. An outstanding achievement. The team have approached this work in a calm and collaborative way ensuring that they listened to staff and responded flexibly. The feedback from staff has been overwhelmingly positive about both the implementation and end product. In reality, it means that frontline social care staff now spend less time on recording and more time meeting the public."

Surrey Registrars and Registration Support Officers

The team was nominated for their award by a colleague, who wrote: "The continuing problems with the national database RON (Registration Online) are having a big impact on our registration officers. All the registrars and registration support officers are continuing to conduct face-to-face appointments with customers, either in birth/death registrations or taking notices, while encountering these national IT problems. The team conduct about 2,500 registrations per month, and if the system is down for an hour or so this can affect up to twenty customers across our six registration offices at any one time. These staff members have continued to deliver the service through these stressful IT problems, which culminate in being thrown out of a registration part way through, reverting to a manual registration, not being able to print certificates and then back-capturing the registration information when the system is back up. Through this time they have continued to provide a seamless service to our customers and the professional way in which they have dealt with this frustrating situation has meant that not one customer has submitted a complaint."

Yvonne Bridle - Streetworks Assistant Technical Officer


Yvonne was nominated for her aware by the Customer Relations Team, who wrote:  "We would like to nominate Yvonne for a Tower Award as we consider her assistance, knowledge and fantastic customer focussed attitude makes her exceptional. As a service, we understand how challenging and time-consuming it can be to provide information for a complaint investigation. However, we are always so impressed with the amount of focus and effort that Yvonne puts into any investigation request. She is always willing to help and ensures that she always gets to the bottom of what has gone wrong for the customer and then goes on to make sure that something happens to put it right. Her totally reliable, proactive and professional approach enables our team to get customers’ complaints resolved as effectively and efficiently as possible. We can be confident that if we need to find out anything about Streetworks, Yvonne will either have the answer or will know exactly where to go to find out the information. Every member of this team comments on how helpful Yvonne is. Her service to this team is exceptional. If she says she will do something you can guarantee that she will do it. She always goes the extra mile to ensure that we have got all of the information that we need, that it is one hundred percent accurate, and that the resident gets the best possible outcome. In a nutshell, Yvonne is a perfect example of somebody who lives and breathes the ethos of the council’s Customer Promise and we feel she is truly deserving of a Tower Award.

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