22nd November, 2023

Heart of Gold Awards

Date: 22nd November, 2023

Our Heart of Gold Awards celebrate those in the rail industry who have made a real difference in their workplace or community. The nominations and voting are by the everyday people who work in rail – giving them the opportunity to thank the colleagues they appreciate, value and who inspire them. This year, the Awards have five categories: Rising Star, Lifetime Achievement, Team, Wellbeing Champion and the Rail Hero Award.

We are delighted to announce the winners of our 2023 Heart of Gold Awards!

Rising Star Award Winner

Sponsored by Furrer + Frey

Hannah Tabassum, Merseyrail

Hannah’s nomination could be dismissed as her ‘doing her job’, however she goes above and beyond in everything she does. In the last year she has worked to engage staff around major local events including Eurovision 2023 in Liverpool and the King’s Coronation. She has promoted and gained significant participation in events from menopause awareness, prostate cancer screening, and diabetes/cholesterol testing. She runs wellbeing roadshows in depots, offices, and stations, and has created a buzz with elements of surprise and delight treats for events like Valentines Day. Hannah always aspires to deliver at a standard of excellence and works to ensure that her colleagues are supported and know they are cared for. She’s a Wellbeing Champion because of the way she cares for the team, but also recognising the wellbeing of individuals and working to support, care and signpost them to ways to thrive.

Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Sponsored by Railpen

Ronnie Hardman, Merseyrail

Ronnie has been in rail for 46 years and has worked tirelessly to support his colleagues, whilst also giving a lot of his time in his roles as an RBF Ambassador and Union Rep. Ronnie never switches his phone off, and always tells colleagues to call anytime if they need someone to talk to. He is always at the end of the phone with a sympathetic ear and helpful advice day and night. The support he gives colleagues is selfless and he always goes above and beyond. Ronnie has even visited colleagues in hospitals, hospices and at home, offering support to their families too. Ronnie was and still is passionate about helping his Railway Family friends and colleagues and is much loved by all.

Rail Hero Award Winner

Sponsored by Freightliner

Laura Warwick, Avanti West Coast

Laura has been an absolute inspiration to her colleagues, customers, and the wider community of Runcorn. She is a mentor to other staff at the station, all of whom at some point have turned to her for advice or support. Laura suggested turning the waiting room at Runcorn station in a community space, contacting like-minded individuals from various charities and support groups. Runcorn station now holds weekly Age UK sessions, drop-in mental health first aid, ukelele group sessions and even a regular slot from a member of Halton Council offering free drop-in advice. Laura has made more than one intervention on someone experiencing a mental health crisis over the last couple of years, including a woman who was intending to jump from the nearby Runcorn Bridge. Laura pulled to the side of the road to talk to her. The woman was suicidal but through her empathy and listening skills Laura managed to keep the woman talking and distracted from her intent. Laura’s compassion and quick thinking led to the woman deciding not to jump and instead getting the help she needed.

Wellbeing Champion Award Winner

Sponsored by Health Shield

Claire Sallis, Alstom

Claire has consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of Alstom’s employees, making a profound impact on their workplace culture. Claire has been a tireless advocate for mental health awareness within Alstom, creating a feeling of inclusiveness across the business. She has introduced initiatives such as mindfulness sessions, menopause groups and mental health workshops, is responsible for the adoption of a confidential employee support network and is a key member of the Voices of Disability group. Claire’s level of compassion and support for colleagues’ wellbeing goes far beyond that of her profession. She is a great listener, offering instant support for employees in distress, and challenges the business to the highest level to ensure the culture of the business supports all employees’ abilities.

Team Award Winner

Sponsored by Amaro

Martin House Fundraising Team

This team work tirelessly and in their own time to raise funds in support of Martin House Childrens’ Hospice. Made up of colleagues from DB Cargo and Network Rail, the group of fundraisers have raised over £250k for the charity, which provides a year of bereavement services, a year of support groups and 300 home visits. The fundraising team, consisting of David Jenkinson, Quentin Hedderly, Richard Corser, Ross Taylor, Andrew Denton, Jonathan Lawton, Mark Bridel, Jerry Dickinson and Kevin Adlam, work in their own time to plan and operate charitable charter services all over Great Britain. They work together as a rail industry team to make sure every service is delivered and as much money is raised as possible for such a fantastic cause.

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