Spirit of Sodexo Awards 2019

Sean Haley presenting at the Spirit of Sodexo Awards
Stilt walkers stood by the balloon wall
Rory Bremner hosting at the Spirit of Sodexo Awards
Sean Haley with Nicola Newman, winner of the Employee of the Year Award, and Rory Bremner
Band on stage and people dancing

About the event


Bringing together 600 Sodexo employees for a night to remember, the first ever Spirit of Sodexo Awards honoured finalists and winners across 20 categories, recognising their ability to bring to life the company values, and help Sodexo to deliver the difference in Quality of Life services.

Held at the ACC exhibition and conference centre in Liverpool, the event was hosted by Britain’s most celebrated satirical impressionist, Rory Bremner.

Awards and winners

Our 2019 winners

Our 2019 winners

Service Spirit 

Health & Safety Initiative 
Community North Employee Engagement team, Sodexo Justice

Health & Safety Champion
Hayley Johnson, Government & Agencies

Excellence in Food Services
Junior Ranks Dining, Episkopi Station Cyprus, Government & Agencies

Excellence in Facilities Management 
Joanne Pickersgill, Government & Agencies

Excellence in Customer Service 
Lorraine Forrestal, Government & Agencies

Operational Efficiency
Nick Hayter, Universities

Team Spirit 

Better Tomorrow
Ascot Racecourse, Sports & Leisure 

Spirit of Inclusion 
Jenny Katoroz, Schools 

Nurturing Talent
Steve Wylie, Schools 

Site of the Year
Queen's Romford Hospital, Healthcare 

Team of the Year
ABP Allenby Connaught, Government & Agencies

Spirit of Progress

Quality of Life
Johnson & Johnson WeCo team, Corporate Services

Retail team: Queen's Hospital Romford

Rising Star
Chelsea Flynn, Justice

Graham Hough, Healthcare

Regional winners

Regional Chair
Anthony Cheeseman, Corporate Services
Claire Appleby, Spots & Leisure

Alan Tilley
Graham Box, Government & Agencies

Kathy Ridgard
Gokul Nepal, Corporate Services

Manager of the Year
Peter Somerville, Sports & Leisure

Employee of the Year
Nicola Newman, Universities

Excellence in Customer Service

Lorraine Forrestal with her award

Lorraine Forrestal, Government & Agencies

This award recognises a frontline employee that has consistently delivered high levels of client and customer satisfaction over the last 12 months, modelling our values and behaviours in all that they do – acting as an ambassador for Sodexo.

Members of the judging panel were unanimous in their decision to crown Lorraine the winner in this category. Her entry was brimming with exceptional client and customer testimonials, showing clear evidence of going above and beyond in order to deliver total customer satisfaction.

Lorraine said of her win: ““This is amazing! I can’t believe it – I’ve never won anything before and I’ve got it for just doing my job. I’ve only been there for 18 months so it’s brilliant to have won this. I love my job and the team I work with are absolutely fantastic!”

Team of the Year

ABP Allenby Connaught team with their award

ABP Allenby Connaught, Government & Agencies

Strong teamwork is what keeps Sodexo ticking. Working together successfully means recognising and combining our skills and knowledge with other team members to help ensure Sodexo’s success. This award is designed to celebrate a team that has worked flexibly and collaboratively, has a ‘can-do’ approach, and delivers above and beyond the expected levels of performance.

This was a tough category for the judges, with a full house of entries from teams across the business. When 4,000 military personnel plus families returned from Germany to their base, the ABP Allenby Connaught team truly went the extra mile. By running innovative recruitment campaigns and talking to the families affected, they ensured military families were welcomed back to the UK with job opportunities and top-class facilities.

Tim Fagan, contract director, said: “It’s amazing to win this award, which is the result of a lot of hard work over the year. There are over 300 people in the team, from finance to HR, cleaners and service operations, and we all work together to deliver growth and excellent service, with exceptional client feedback.” 

Rising Star

Chelsea Flynn with her award

Chelsea Flynn, Sodexo Justice

This award recognises an outstanding employee who has demonstrated significant personal growth and development, quickly impressed those around them, and is making bold strides in establishing themselves, both as a career-focused professional and as an ambassador for Sodexo.

In this category, judges were looking for someone with energy, drive and a desire to keep learning. Chelsea has risen rapidly in her business, gaining several promotions thanks to a willingness to take on extra tasks and develop her skill set and competencies. A true professional with a caring character, Chelsea genuinely strives to improve the quality of life and reduce violence in custody, making the environment safer for prisoners and employees. 

Chelsea said of her win: “It feels really good to have won this award. I’d just like to thank everyone I work with but especially my line managers, Jo Davidson and Craig Parbery who have been really supportive and have guided me through my career so far.”

Manager of the Year

Peter with his award

Peter Somerville, Sports & Leisure

Sodexo’s Manager of the Year Award recognises an individual operating at peak performance level in management, customer service delivery and business operations. Beyond performance, judges looked for an individual who exemplifies all the Sodexo values, and espouses the qualities consistent with Sodexo’s managerial behaviours.

Peter was unanimously selected by the judges for this year’s award. Not only does he perform at a consistently high standard - he also inspires those around him to work to their potential, displaying the Sodexo values in all that he does. Since April 2019, Peter has successfully navigated his team at through a significant period of major change, with the integration of Centerplate and Heritage Portfolio into Sodexo, doing so in his characteristically calm and considered manner, ensuring high operational standards, client satisfaction levels and team engagement remained consistently high throughout.

When asked how he felt about his win, Peter commented: “Amazed, surprised and delighted! I’ve been with Heritage Portfolio for 10 years and I really didn’t expect to be nominated, never mind win it!  I have an amazing team and I couldn’t do any of this without them, so huge thanks to them for everything they do!”

Employee of the Year

Nicola Newman with her award

Nicola Newman, Schools & Universities

The Employee of the Year is selected from a cast of 35,000 people in Sodexo in the UK & Ireland. Judges sought out a special nomination describing a person whom Sodexo simply ‘couldn’t do without’. The winner had to be a first-class team player whose exemplary on-the-job performance every day makes them an asset on many levels – to their team or department, their site, their customers and the Sodexo business as a whole.

Our search for Employee of the Year attracted some amazing entries, and the judges selected a winner that they felt had a ‘very powerful story’. Nicola demonstrated that she consistently goes the extra mile, embracing our values and our Quality of Life proposition. She has used Sodexo’s tools to develop and implement new systems and processes, and received glowing testimonials from the client and onsite staff.

When presented with one of the most prestigious awards of the night, Nicola said: “I can’t believe I’ve won – I’m in shock! I’ve worked in student accommodation for 25 years, and with Sodexo for three and a half years, and it’s the first time I’ve won anything like this. I work with a fantastic team and I couldn’t do what I do without them.

“All the nominees are so deserving of this award and it’s fantastic that the great work that everyone does has been recognised tonight.”

Watch the highlights

See the event in pictures

See the event in pictures

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