The Frontline Heroes Award aims to shine a light on the unsung individuals and organisations that go that extra mile time and time again, encapsulating the spirit and professionalism of the workplace and facilities management industry. This category endeavours to give the incredible efforts by the entrants the opportunity to receive the recognition deserved. Our winner will encapsulate the spirit and professionalism of workplace and facilities management at its best, demonstrating the hallmarks of service excellence from individuals and teams that provide an inspiration in and beyond the profession and who highlight the opportunities open to all in FM and its great potential as a career of choice.

It’s now your turn to get involved! Below are the entries and videos for the shortlisted entries – grab a cuppa, sit down, read through the fantastic entries and vote for your winner! Please note that each individual may only vote once.

Voting closed at 5pm BST on Thursday 11 August.

Late on the afternoon of Friday 21st January 2022, both officer Mohammed Miah and officer Trisol Barreto were on duty ay the London Business School main campus, adjacent to Regents Park. A student came to the Plowden reception and informed the Team Leader (Mohammed Miah) that a person was laying on the floor in the Radcliffe reception that appeared to be unresponsive.

What was the initiative, action or response?

Mohammed asked the student to take him to the location, where they found the cleaning supervisor lying on the floor in the lift lobby on the ground floor. Mohammed, who knew him by name, called his name a couple of times, but the cleaning supervisors did not respond. Mohammed immediately called the ambulance and asked for a second officer to come and assist him. The second officer was Trisol Barreto, who arrived moments later. The emergency service advised Mohammed on what action to take to place the person into the correct position and Trisol assisted with this. They asked Mohammed to monitor his breathing and also confirm that he could feel a pulse, which he did. An ambulance arrived at 16:29 and took over from Mohammed and they left at 17:12. The patient was taken to hospital and it has since become known that he had suffered from bleeding on the brain and had been placed in an induced coma for some time and has since woken, but he is partially paralyzed. From an analysis of the CCTV and access control Mohammed was able to determine that enters the building and would have been in the area, he collapsed from some time 16:01. The CCTV does unfortunately not cover the lift lobby so we are unable to see when he collapsed, but it is believed to be around 16:05. The speed with which the ambulance was called and how they acted is commendable and, in my view, had an positive impact on the outcome.

What happened as a result?

The cleaning team manager has expressed their appreciation for how professionally and effectively they dealt with the matter. Management have since sat down with both of them to make sure the incident has not impacted them adversely and this has been repeated a number of times since.

• Why should they win this award?

This is a great example of teamwork, decisive decision making and swift action savings the day and preventing further injury damage. Although perhaps viewed as quite base in its nature, it is a real true example of day-to-day endeavours which ensure the smother running or organisations and vicariously, society.

What was the task or challenge?

Early on the morning of Tuesday 1st February 2022, officer Mohammed Ullah, who was manning the Gym office at the time, heard a call for help from outside the Gym door. The call was coming from an LBS Alumni who had just left the Gym via the entrance door after coming in for an early morning workout. As the alumni left the building he felt sharp chest pain and collapsed outside the gym door on the Balcombe Street pavement. Mohammed heard the call and responded by going outside immediately where he found the male collapsed on the floor. The alumni were sweating heavily and having difficulty breathing and Mohammed Ullah called the ambulance via 999 and also called officer, Dildar Miah (Team Leader) to come and assist him.

What was the initiative, action or response?

Dildar responded and arrive a few minutes later and assisted the alumni giving immediate First Aid and reassurance, whilst Mohammed spoke to the emergency services. A lone paramedic arrived at 06:25, took the alumni inside, and proceeded with treatment, an ambulance arrived at 06:40 and left Taunton Building at 06:50 and the alumni were taken to the Royal Free Hospital.

What happened as a result?

Since the incident there has been some feedback via the Alumni relations team from the alumnus involved thanking the team for their quick response in the matter and how they dealt with it. The alumni indicated that the episode was serious (no more details given) and it would take him at least 6 months to recover but this has been positively impacted upon by the swift actions of the officers. There have had since had two emails from the LBS client base asking to pass on the school’s appreciation for how professionally and effectively they dealt with the matter. Both officers have been sat down with since then to make sure the incident has not impacted them, and this has been repeated over consecutive weeks.

Why should they win this award?

This is a great example of teamwork, decisive decision making and swift action savings the day and preventing further injury damage. Although perhaps viewed as quite base in its nature, it is a real true example of day-to-day endeavours which ensure the smother running or organisations and vicariously, society.

What was the task or challenge?

On Friday 11th March 2022, supervisor Grace Okonta was on external patrol of the site when she had cause to check some of the communal areas in some nearby accommodation connected with the site. She then encountered a male in the stairwell who was delirious and was losing his balance, she immediately got him to sit down and gave reassurance, she did this whilst calling for an ambulance and for her site manager, Carlos Giambrone.

What was the initiative, action or response?

Carlos arrived promptly, even though the location and circumstances of the Incident indicated that it could possibly mean a risk of violence or abuse. Carlos and Grace carried out their duties with utmost professionalism and continued to try to make the male comfortable whilst calling for an Ambulance. During this time the male had a fit and lost consciousness. He then stopped breathing, so Carlos and his colleague attempted to resuscitate the male. They called for a di-fib to be deployed to scene but when connected, the automated instruction recommended it was not to be used.

What happened as a result? Unfortunately, the male passed away.

Why should they win this award?

The reason why they are both being nominated for this award is that, even knowing the risks the two officers stayed with the male trying to reassure him in his last moments on earth. It later transpired that the male was confirmed as an addict and in the throes of a severe overdose. There was very little the officers could have done with their knowledge and equipment. The officers showed compassion, love and humanity. The facts surrounding the incident meant Police are treating it as a suspicious death and the two officers assisted in securing the scene, providing evidence and all this after dealing with quite a traumatic event. Two true hero’s and a credit to Bidvest Noonan.

When Whipps Cross University Hospital in Essex declared an emergency incident due to severe flooding, EQUANS Plant Manager, Martin Wokou worked tirelessly to ensure building services were restored as quickly as possible. The success of the recovery efforts was due in no small part to Martin’s inexhaustible spirit, which helped to maintain morale amongst all parties involved in the recovery operation.

EQUANS has been delivering mechanical & electrical and energy management services to the hospital since 2019 under a five-year contract. These services are managed onsite by Martin, liaising with hospital estates staff and contractors. During this time, Martin has developed an excellent collaborative relationship with all parties, a relationship that proved invaluable in managing the emergency.

During torrential rain on 25th July 2021 flood water entered the basements of buildings where most of the hospital’s plant rooms are located, causing extensive damage. Electrical power was lost and steam production had to be halted, resulting in an emergency declaration and transfer of some patients to other facilities.

As the only EQUANS employee on site, Martin was at once plunged into a challenging, high-pressure situation, with an urgent need to assess the situation and restore services as quickly as possible. Martin’s calm resolve and can-do attitude ensured that the hospital’s clinical priorities were paramount in defining the recovery programme. For example, at the time many of the in-patients were in Covid-19 isolation wards and could not be moved to other facilities, so prioritising and maintaining services to these areas was critical.

Implementing Recovery
The first priority was to pump out the water while mitigating the risk of potential contamination by foul water, medical waste and chemicals. Working closely with the client, Martin coordinated efforts with the fire service and Environment Agency. In particular, he was able to advise the fire service on chemicals stored in the basement areas to minimise risk.

A number of wastewater pumps were deployed and water was pumped out of the buildings within 24 hours. Once the water had been removed, much of the mechanical and electrical equipment had to be either dried out or replaced. This included replacing all of the motors that had been submerged. Electrical switchgear was salvaged by rinsing and drying, whilst a damaged combined heat and power alternator was quickly refurbished. Martin took on the responsibility of co-ordinating these works, working closely with estates staff and contractors that were called in for specialist tasks. Thanks to Martin’s efficient management and willingness to ‘get stuck in’, steam was restored in 36 hours, with electrical power being restored gradually within a week.

Ashley Nayeck,Head of Estates at Whipps Cross Hospital recalled: “Nothing is ever too much trouble for Martin and this quality really shone through in his handling of the emergency. He very much leads from the front, setting an example that others willingly followed in giving their best efforts. Martin’s commitment to the hospital, its staff and patients is exceptional, and I have no doubt he is worthy of this award.”

The Service Delivery Team including Security, Porters, Cleaning and Grounds teams under the leadership of Lisa Williams, share a common purpose to provide the best campus experience. Their collective contributions are inspirational and truly deserving of this award.

The Security Team are on campus 24-7, reaching into every aspect of university life. Throughout the pandemic, welfare for students has been a number one priority. An App, ‘ConnectLancaster’, was created advising students to report in to monitor who’s on campus, who’s isolating and who might be in distress. Students’ mental health concerns have escalated during the pandemic.

If students didn’t respond, Security contacted them remotely or went to check they were in their room. If needed, they entered the room to make sure the student was OK and had access to medical back up. There have been individual cases where the life of a student could have been threatened and Security intervened. They delivered library books, medication and other essential items quarantine students required.
The Security Team were recognised by the Association of University Directors(November 21) for ‘securing wellbeing during the pandemic’.

Service Delivery Cleaners and Supervisors demonstrated outstanding performance over the summer period. An exceptionally challenging year providing essential COVID compliant services, they also turned around preparing campus for the summer vacation for remaining students and conference business. Going the extra mile and working collaboratively across two areas of academic and residences, flexing start and finish times, keeping staff within smaller groups, amending work plans and covering unfilled roles due to challenges with recruitment. They also delivered getting campus ready two weeks early to ensure international students have a positive arrivals experience and could quarantine where necessary and still attend Freshers arrival events.

Lancaster University: Cleaners’ Covid efforts celebrated in artwork – BBC News captures their vital work through Artist Jose Barcia Oliva. Cleaners used their mops, painting on a large canvas to celebrate and remind us of the importance of cleaners. “Mop water evaporates within seconds…they are invisible,” Mr Oliva said. The artwork, ‘Traces’, saw workers paint swirling patterns, symbolically remembering their efforts during the pandemic and the importance of their work, keeping workplaces going.

For the tenth consecutive year the Grounds Team achieved the international Green Flag Award, given to organisations with high standards of open space management and connected to how organisations protect the environment.

They have embraced changes to maintain the campus to improve biodiversity and support wildlife by leading and taking part in activities such as bulb and tree planting, creating habitats for hedgehogs and developing areas of wildflower and grassland meadow and no mow initiative. Working collaboratively with student volunteers, tree planting and with academic departments in developing wildflower areas.

Through constantly achieving the Green Flag, Britain In Bloom and Hedgehog Society awards together with environmental improvements, they continually raise standards and improve services. Their excellent work and improvements contribute towards the University’s environmental sustainability priorities and declaration of Climate Emergency, recognising the need to manage the estate better for nature and wildlife.

Sodexo was the largest provider of Covid-19 testing centres in the UK prior to the end of free testing. Management of these sites requires the dedication of our frontline heroes who have also shown innovation, coming up with ideas for how to improve service on site. For example, Kayley Davies, who worked at a local test site in Bolton, suggested two solutions to help people using test sites who are profoundly death. Her suggestions involved the creation of a series of laminated signs for test centres with specific messages to help people getting tests alongside the development of a live sign language interpreting service. The latter suggestion would involve those who need to dial up using the signing service on their own mobile phone, providing the option to sign ‘down the line’ to a real person who can answer any questions or get across any point which is relevant to their testing needs. The interpreter would then relay the question or request to a test centre worker on the ground who can help. Our frontline heroes have quite literally been heroes in some circumstances. Roland Wilkinson, who worked at the drive-through in Welwyn Garden City, saved a four-month-old baby who had a seizure at the site, swiftly removing the child from a car and making sure he was breathing and conscious before paramedics arrived. Colleagues also came up with fundraising ideas to support local communities. For example, Elaine Whittington at the Blackburn drive-through site raised over £1,300 for a local charity through raffles and games with the team on site. Jack Turnbull, the Site Lead for Rochdale RTS, and his girlfriend Lucy Roberts, raised £1,025 for Salford Foodbank just before Christmas to help those in need. Our frontline heroes had to work on some high-profile events. Fifty Sodexo assisted testers provided Covid-19 testing at the United Nation’s (UN) 26th Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasow, testing more than 20,000 delegates, diplomats and employees attending the conference. The assisted testers were graciously thanked for their ‘stellar service’ by the UN Ambassador for Antigua and Barbuda for all their help. Sodexo frontline teams also provided Covid-19 testing for the G7 Summit in Cornwall. Many Sodexo people working on the frontline in the test centres had redeployed from other parts of Sodexo, demonstrating their ability to adapt their skills to a test centre environment. They worked throughout the peaks of the Kent, Delta and Omicron variants in 2021. Our frontline heroes’ tested around 13.8 million people – more than a fifth of the Great Britain population. Surveys taken by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) showed our average customer satisfaction rating across all of our sites across England, Wales and Scotland for the duration were 88 per cent. This is a testament to our frontline heroes’ work.