School cleaner, Samantha Bucknall, picked up the Cleaner of the Year award at the ABCD’s annual conference in Chester, and admitted she was ‘gob smacked’ to have won it.
Samantha, from Lichfield in Staffs, was presented with an engraved glass trophy by Managing Director of Denis Rawlins Ltd, James White, who was part of the judging panel.
The awards scheme was created jointly by the Association of Building Cleaning Direct Service Providers (ABCD) and Denis Rawlins, who also sponsor the award.
James White said it was inspiring to meet so many cleaners in the public sector who often went above and beyond their core duties. He said it was agonising to choose between the three finalists, who all attended the event, but added that Samantha’s story really stood out, as she had single handily kept her school’s cleaning service going during a severe staff shortage.
Meanwhile, the rest of the ABCD conference in Chester went off without a hitch, with delegates from around the UK treated to an array of speakers.
After the AGM and announcement of the Cleaner of the Year winners it was straight down to business with a talk by Pascoe Sawyers whose book ‘Your Life is Your Business’ has been widely acclaimed.
Pascoe works for the Local Government Association were he is responsible for over seeing design and delivery of a range of leadership development programmes for Councillors and Local Government Managers, and so his presentation was extremely interesting for the assembled guests.
Councillor John Lamb, from Trafford Council, spoke to delegates about the recent shock General Election result, and engaged in a Q and A with audience members.
Steve Tarbox, from Dacorum Council gave an entertaining case study into how his team tackle Voids in properties, and the financial benefits of taking on such work.
After lunch delegates took part in a series of workshops before the day was rounded off with an interactive session from Pascoe about the ‘Change Challenge for Cleaners’