Staff Awards 2020

Deserved Recognition for Dedicated Staff in Online Awards Ceremony

9 September 2020

Brilliant individuals and teams have had their work efforts and ethics celebrated during the RNN Group’s* first online awards ceremony.

The event, held virtually for safety, recognises terrific teams and individuals for tirelessly using their roles to make a difference for students, their working environments and communities they serve.

Colleagues nominate winners, encouraging staff to reward their fellow worker’s inspirational attitudes, approaches and efforts to make a positive impact.

With winners nominated across a variety of categories, there is room to recognise people for a wide number of altruistic reasons. Categories include going above and beyond, excelling as a newcomer, helping your local community, triumphing over adversity, providing excellent customer service, innovation, support and more.

Winners for this year’s categories are:

  • Above and Beyond Award: Christopher Tracey
  • Best Newcomer Award: Ashton Clarke
  • Cheers From Your Peers: Sam Caudwell
  • Community Awards: Jean Chambers, Julie Cusack, Richard Braham
  • Spotlight Award: Helen Parkinson
  • Triumph Over Adversity Award: Amanda Harston-Southern
  • Customer Service Award: IT Support Services
  • Delivery Team of the Year Award: ESOL
  • Innovation Team of the Year Award: Quality Team
  • Support Team of the Year Award: Exams Team
  • Principal Award: Amanda Harston-Southern

In recognising their co-workers, staff applauded their willingness to always go the extra mile and make a difference.

Dearne Valley College Assistant Principal Cheryl Martin helped nominate winners of the Community Award.

Discussing the winners’ dedication to helping their local communities cope with the Coronavirus pandemic, Cheryl said of Julie: “She took action when she found out some of the hospitals and care homes in her local community were experiencing problems in sourcing and purchasing appropriate PPE to effectively treat their patients and keep their staff safe.

“Using her love of crafting, she helped her local community and by purchasing material, sourcing a pattern and using her sewing and mending skills to make scrubs.

“She has made many sets and they have all been donated to care and key workers in Julie’s local community. Julie has done this in her spare time whilst continuing with her working commitments.”

Parents also praised the staff’s dedication to ensuring their child is provided with the best possible chance in life by being given personalised attention and care.

Discussing Ashton Clarke’s phenomenal efforts in achieving the Best Newcomer Award, one parent said: “I can’t thank Ashton enough for her support and understanding. She truly is an asset to the college and young people.

“Mums worry about our kids and colleges don’t see the person they are at home. My son is kind, supportive and loving. Ashton has supported him through tears and struggles and has guided him to achieve what she knows he deserves and I thank her for giving my son a great start to his future”.

Chief Executive Officer and Principal of RNN Group Jason Austin, who oversaw the selection of this year’s winners, said: “This academic year has been far from normal.

“When met with extraordinary circumstances, I am delighted to see how our terrific teams and staff respond with relentless spirit, knowledge, care and dogged determination in providing our students and colleagues fantastic support.”

Jason added: “I would like to extend my congratulations and admiration to all winners and those nominated; our Staff Awards are a wonderful opportunity to share the courage and resolve of our unsung heroes in keeping our students’ eyes fixed on the horizon and our fellow worker’s shape our learning environments for the better through concerted and collective effort.”


* RNN Group is an education group which includes Rotherham College, Dearne Valley College, North Notts College and University Centre Rotherham.

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