This category is presented annually to one or more individuals who perform junior or middle management roles in the industry and are known for their hard-work, loyalty and devotion to duty.
In many cases, the ‘Unsung Heroes’ are those who keep the wheels turning against all the odds; no transport operator can do without such people – even though they often slave away for years with no recognition save their own satisfaction in a service delivered and a job well done, whether they work for the operator or the local transport authority.
Above all, the ‘Unsung Hero’ will be someone who demonstrates the importance of ensuring that the services are delivered for the passenger and for the local community.
Winner: Rita Kendrick - Arriva Yorkshire
At Arriva Yorkshire's Heckmondwike depot, Rita Kendrick is entrusted to lead the business and take responsibility for the operation of 60 vehicles and 150 staff. She has been with the company and its predecessors for over thirty-five years. By her example, Rita has had a huge impact in leading the depot which has become recognised as a beacon of excellence in the Arriva group and across the country.
Whilst never taking centre stage, she is always there in the background and it is her hard work that has given Heckmondwike such a consistent and stable platform from which to shine. The judges were hugely impressed by numerous examples of Rita's dedication and commitment, one in particular when a supplier failed to deliver promised driver cash bags. She organised the purchase of the material and, on her sewing machine at home, she made 150 cash bags, complete with tab and ring!"”
UK Bus Awards Special Commendations for Outstanding Service
In addition, the Management Committee awarded three Commendations for Outstanding Service to nominees for the Unsung Heroes awards. These were:
Rick Halsall - Arriva North West
Head of Operations at Arriva Manchester, Rick has worked in the bus industry for nearly 30 years and has worked his way up from driver, gaining a Business Studies degree and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) on the way. His dedication, knowledge and enthusiasm for the job makes him stand out. The judges were impressed by his ability to manage change through excellent interpersonal skills and a proven ability to lead, coach and develop a team to enhance business performance. As well as being a highly dedicated manager and with a work ethic that makes him a very popular and approachable member of staff, Rick has raised over £37,000 for the MS Trust over the last three years. As colleagues say:- 'You couldn't wish to meet a more genuine, down-to-earth, inspirational man'.
Malcolm Morgan - First Hampshire & Dorset
Having worked in the industry for 44 years, there is very little Malcolm doesn't know about buses. Following a career that started with Southampton City Transport as a conductor in 1967, becoming a driver in 1971 and Revenue Inspector in 1979, Malcolm is now Operations Manager for First in Southampton, being responsible for the group's day-to-day operations in the city.
He has a can-do attitude, and with his superb inter-personal skills and willingness to help in every situation, he is an inspirational example to managers, supervisors and all staff. Malcolm has also led the way in setting up a bus training scheme to better equip children with the skills needed to use public transport and, in his own time recently, has taken an active role in the charity raising money in memory of two firemen who lost their lives fighting a blaze in a block of flats in Southampton in 2010.
Arthur Pearson - Oxford Bus Company
Arthur is 87 and has worked in the industry for 64 years! When he joined Oxford Bus in 1948, the NHS was still to be launched and the first Land Rover was still to be built. In 2011, Arthur is still at work in a bus industry career that has touched literally millions of lives, be they passengers, works colleagues, bosses - even the Prime Minister! Arthur was a much respected Inspector when he retired in 1989, returning to work after a couple of days, and is currently responsible for liaison between the company's head office and retail outlets in the city centre. Arthur's contribution to the company and the industry is unparalleled, and unlikely to be seen again. From joining and moving through the ranks to his present role, Arthur has brought his wisdom, experience and people skills to all with whom he has come into contact.
Who could be nominated?
Any person working for a bus operator or local transport authority continuously for the previous twelve months, who can show service in a management and/or supervisory role of more than five years.
… and by whom?
Senior managers in both operating companies and local authorities were asked to nominate people within their own organisation or with another operator or local transport authority who, in their view, qualify for this recognition.
Criteria and Entry Requirements
The award will be made on the basis of the quality of the submissions made, which needed to set out:
- The nominee’s length of service
- The nature and extent of their current responsibilities
- The consistency of the nominee’s record of achievement
- The sustainability of the entrant’s contribution.