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Published 04 May 2018

A dedicated Council Officer who organised a summer programme for more than 500 young people has been named Employee of the Year.


George Smith, who works as a Development Officer in the Working4U service, impressed judges with his commitment to successfully create, plan and develop a summer programme for young people seeking confidence and opportunities.

The Youth Alliance Cashback programme initially set out to engage with 80 young people in a range of confidence-building, positive experiences. In the end it exceeded all expectations after attracting more than 500 participants to get involved in outdoor and sporting activities as well as cultural visits.

West Dunbartonshire Youth Alliance, which is delivered in partnership with voluntary group Y-Sort-it, ran the six-week summer programme which offered the opportunity to meet new people, try new experiences and learn new skills which would stand the young people in good stead for employment in future.

George said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive this award. I really didn’t expect to win with so many examples of great work.  I was happy to put in the extra hours to set up the programme which was really successful and it was fantastic to get the support and financial backing from the Scottish Government.  I am surrounded by a brilliant team and along with many dedicated volunteers and partners including,    Y-Sort-It and Working4U Youth Learning we are working to improve the lives of our young people.”

George was one of six winners at the awards ceremony on Tuesday, 1 May, at Clydebank Town Hall. The awards recognise excellence in service delivery and thank staff members and teams who have made a real difference to the Council and our residents.

The Council’s Registrars picked up Team of the Year for having the highest degree of accuracy in Scotland. The team has consistently improved their accuracy over the last five years for registering births, deaths and marriages, and with  96% of  residents they served confirming they were very satisfied with the service provided.

Team Leader of the Year was presented to Roisin Black, Team Leader within the Housing Central Administration Support (CAS) Team.  Roisin was awarded for her commitment to offering advice, assistance and encouragement to her team

Roisin played a key role in the development of the CAS section which was formed to improve efficiency and effectiveness of administrative services. Roisin played a pivotal role as a key member of the Staff Forum in order to gain feedback and input from the staff who would ultimately form part of the new CAS structure. Roisin was praised for having a positive outlook and for her excellent communications skills.

Balloch Library Team received this year’s Community Award for their outstanding services and warm reception offered to visitors at the branch.  The team, which were praised for providing a service second to none, were nominated for the outstanding  welcome offered to all visitors are made to feel individually important.

The Young Ambassador of the Year Award went to Darren McLeod an Apprentice Painter and Decorator in the Council’s Environment and Neighbourhood Service. Darren was awarded for being a model apprentice and for always giving 100% to all tasks. During his time with the council, he has been nominated for Scottish APSE awards and also National APSE awards. Darren is very highly though of both by his college lecturer and his colleagues who say he is a vital part of the team and is a valued member of staff.

This year’s Chief Executive’s Award was presented to the Data Centre Project Team who successfully moved the Data Centre to a new purpose built centre in Aurora House. During the move, there was no access to any IT systems, including the Council’s website, intranet and telephones.

The team worked tirelessly planning the move and ensuring business continuity arrangements were in place to ensure essential services continued to be provided and all other services have planned for downtime.

The Data Centre move was a great success and is the largest ICT project to have taken place involving 25 ICT staff working tirelessly to minimise disruption to Council services. 

This year’s winners were:

  • Employee of the Year – George Smith, Development Officer Working4U
  • Team of the Year – Registrars Team
  • Team Leader of the Year – Roisin Black CAS Team Leader – Resources
  • Community’s Award - Balloch Library Team
  • Young Ambassador of the Year – Darren McLeod (Painter & Decorator Apprentice - Environment & Neighbourhood)
  • Chief Executive Award – Data Centre Project Team

Also recognised at the event were employees who were presented with certificates to mark their long-service, having worked for the Council for 25 years.

Chief Executive Joyce White said: “Every year the judging of these awards is a real challenge with so many dedicated employees willing to go that extra mile and deliver great services to our residents. I would like to congratulate everyone who was nominated and shortlisted, they should be very proud of themselves and I’m delighted to highlight their great work. It’s good for them to know their dedication, additional hours and commitment to our Council has been recognised.  West Dunbartonshire Council staff have a unique opportunity to make a difference every day. As Chief Executive, I’m really proud to hear how our dedicated staff are making a positive impact on local residents.”

Employee Recognition Award winners