18th November, 2021

Heart of Gold Award Winner honoured by Prime Minister

Our Heart of Gold Award Winner, Jennifer Birdsall, was presented with her award by the Prime Minister in a surprise visit to Warrington Bank Quay Station on Thursday 17th November. Boris Johnson handed the ‘Going the Extra Mile’ award to Jennifer, a Customer Service Assistant from Avanti West Coast who has helped save the lives of multiple vulnerable individuals in her career.

The Prime Minister, alongside Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, presented Jennifer with her award, taking time to talk about her role at the station before jumping on an Avanti West Coast service for Wolverhampton.

As well as helping vulnerable people, Jennifer has built an army of fans at Warrington where she is known for making cups of tea and coffee for train enthusiasts and working with local volunteers to arrange station plant displays.

She was expecting to receive her award after colleagues at the station nominated her, but was not expecting to receive it in person from the Prime Minister, who stopped at Warrington during a tour of stations in the North.

Talking after receiving the award, Jennifer said: “I’m a bit overwhelmed I have to say. Never did I expect to win anything. I’m just doing my job.

“The Railway Benefit Fund do such great work, so it means a lot to be recognised by them. But the award is a much for me as it is for the wonderful team we have at Bank Quay.

“We’re all part of the railway family and to have the Prime Minister and Secretary of State visit was extra special.”

Our Heart of Gold Awards are designed to celebrate the efforts of people working in the rail industry. The ‘Going the Extra Mile Award’ was sponsored this year by railway technology company, Furrer + Frey.

Jennifer added that she was honoured to receive the award on behalf of her colleagues at the station. “To win the Heart of Gold Award is truly amazing and I’m proud to receive it on behalf of all my colleagues at Warrington Bank Quay. We’re a close-knit team, who are proud to serve Warrington and want to make a difference in the community.”

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