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Highland Council recognises dedication and work of staff at awards ceremony

Winners of the Cross Service Collaboration category – the Covid-19 Business Grants Team.
Winners of the Cross Service Collaboration category – the Covid-19 Business Grants Team.

Highland Council has honoured several staff members for their dedication throughout the pandemic at the 2022 Staff Recognition Awards.

The ceremony, held at the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness, returned for the first time on Friday, and recognised staff who showed compassion in their role over the past two years.

It allowed attendees to reflect on the past two years and pay tribute to lost loved ones.

Beauly Primary pupil Seffi Allan performed a song called People Help the People, while Kingussie High pupils Xander Johnston and Cailean McKerron performed a piece on the keyboard and fiddle.

Winners were presented with a certificate from Trees for Life, which is working to rewild the Highlands through tree planting. 

A Scots Pine will be planted in Glen Affric to commemorate each winning team’s success.

These are some of the award winners from the night:

  • Staff Commitment to Supporting Their Communities – Community Support and Resilience team that helps vulnerable and self-isolating people in Highland and coordinated across several teams in the Council.
  • Innovation and Agility – ICT Services Team for their Covid-19 response by using multiple new technologies and introducing them across all services in a matter of weeks which would normally have taken months or years.
  • Pace of Change – Support for bereaved families was the key focus of the group and to ensure bereavement and registrar services were maintained throughout the pandemic.
  • Cross Service Collaboration –Covid-19 Business Grants Team at the outset of the pandemic the Council was asked by the Scottish Government to deliver on their behalf, with less than one week’s notice, a grant scheme to support businesses who had to close and were unable to trade.
  • Partnership Collaboration – The Council’s Environmental Health and Trading Standards team played a key role throughout the pandemic in supporting businesses that had to adapt following new Covid legislation.
  • Local Area Response and Working With Communities – Seasonal Access Ranger Team for adopting the Council’s Visitor Manager Plan to address the issues of staycationing and agreed to fund 10 Access Rangers.

Highland Council chief executive Donna Mason also presented a Kindness to Staff award to the HR team, and Kindness to the Public Award to the welfare support team.

Winners of the “Kindness to the Public” Award – the Welfare Support Team.

She said: “It has been so heartening to hear in more detail about the projects and the dedication and ingenuity of our workforce in what have been complex and challenging situations.

“Meeting and speaking with staff during the ceremony, it was clear to me that everyone has stepped up and gone above and beyond when needed to ensure that we could support and safeguard the most vulnerable in our community.”

“I am extremely proud of the resilience and dedication demonstrated by our workforce at a time of great uncertainty and extend my sincere thanks to all.”

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