People’s Choice Award – time to vote

Date: 16/07/2014
Ref: PR 4646

Residents of Wakefield are invited to choose the winner of the People's Choice Award.

Wakefield Council's People's Choice Award is chosen by the residents themselves. The award recognises excellent service from a staff member, someone who does their job to the best of their ability and puts the customer first.

This year 21 nominations were received for both individuals and teams across the Council.

A panel of independent Wakefield residents judged the awards and came up with a shortlist of three which includes a lifeguard, social worker and school escort. Residents can read their stories and choose the winner by August 1.

Chief Executive, Joanne Roney OBE, said: "What a wonderful set of people we have shortlisted for this year's People's Choice Awards. We are so proud of our staff and reading these nominations, you can see why.

"This is our way of recognising and rewarding those who work tirelessly for others and do their very best to keep our customers happy and safe.

"They are all winners to have got this far and it makes it extra special that they are nominated by the very people they serve."

Tracy Back, Pupil Escort, Home to School Transport
Tracy takes young people with special needs to college including Jacob who goes to Barnsley College. Jacob has learning difficulties and finds long journeys stressful but Tracy makes sure he is taken care of. She gets in touch with his parents if there is any delay with the journey so they don't worry about him.

Jacob's parents, who nominated Tracy, said: "He was nervous about the long journeys but she has made it easier for him. She ensures he always sits facing forward in the transport as facing backwards was making him feel car sick.

"Tracy knows her young people and notices when things are not right. She also has a good relationship with parents who she probably only sees for a minute or two during the whole term. We trust her which says a lot in that short period of time we see her."

Claire Coupland, Social Worker
Claire helped Paula, a mother-of-two, get her life back after she was diagnosed with EDS, a hypermobility condition. She supported Paula while she was in hospital, then when she was living with her parents. She also helped her when her children came back to her home to live with her. She has put together a care package for her so the family can continue living together.

In her nomination, Paula said: "Claire has seen me through so many tears and frightening times where you don't ever think you will be in that position. Claire brought love and empathy into that and I can tell she loves her job and is passionate about what she does and does it to a very high standard.

"We can't even begin to put it into words how she has helped because it's not just my life, but my children and my family it's affected. She's supported my mum and dad while the children were living with them, which was hard for them. She supported my sister coming to terms with what's happening to me and my children to understand things and what to tell them.

"Claire is a modest lady but she needs to be proud of what she has done for me. I am lucky to have her."

Paula's mother also nominated Claire.

Laura McNally, Lifeguard, Pontefract Swimming Pool
Laura has worked as a lifeguard for eleven years and cares about the people who she shows around the facilities.

Her caring attitude and sensitivity particularly impressed one newcomer to the pool. The lady was very nervous about taking the plunge. Laura showed her round the centre and then, because she was in between shifts, she went into the pool with her.

She wrote: "I don't like to come swimming but she saw how nervous I was and swam with me after work. I almost didn't go in, but I did and will again because she was so nice and friendly.

"She did it because she wanted to and in her own time. Such a nice thing to do and I am so happy to have met her."

The customer has continued coming to the pool since that first visit.

To read the nominations in full visit

Residents can vote by:
• Completing the online nomination form at
• Emailing with your choice
• Calling 01924 306745

Voting closes on Friday August 1.

The winners of this and all the other Pride Awards, including Employee of the Year which is voted for by council staff, will be announced at the Pride Awards gala dinner on Friday 12 September at the Cedar Court Hotel. The event is paid for entirely by sponsors. ​