Making the Difference Awards 2020 – Winners Announced

Now in their fifth year, these awards recognise the commitment of our colleagues within our 3,000-strong workforce from across Great Britain who have gone above and beyond to deliver outstanding service and lead by example.

2020’s winners and finalists for our awards can be found below.


View the photos from 2020 here >>

Employee of the Year

Congratulations to our winner: Victoria Johnson – Head of Kitchen at Stonham Aspal Primary School

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Ashley Driver – Fleet Administrator at Eastern Way
  • Emma Smith – Head of Kitchen at Helmingham Primary School and Nursery


Employee of the Year was sponsored by:

Our people are our primary asset in delivering service excellence – this award is designed to recognise the significant contribution that an individual has made to Vertas, its clients and customers.

Team of the Year

Congratulations to our winner: St.Andrew’s CE Primary School Catering Team

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Governor Services and Safeguarding Team
  • Hadleigh High School Catering Team

Team of the Year was sponsored by:

We are looking for teams that have demonstrably gone the extra mile to improve the way they work, for example; to increase client satisfaction or deliver improved service standards.

Colleagues Champion

Congratulations to our winner: Mark Tillson, Grounds Chargehand at Northgate Ground Depot

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Stefan Giovannini – Assistance Management Accountant at Beacon House
  • Felicity Matthews -Food Service Assistant


Colleagues Champion was sponsored by

This award recognises a Vertas employee who has consistently supported work colleagues and is always there to help others.

Lifetime Achievement

Congratulations to our winner: Philip Middleditch, Tree and Grounds Advisor at Beacon House

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Marguerite Bellamy – Cleaning Operative at Endeavour House
  • Sheila O’Keefe – Cleaning Operations Manager

Lifetime Achievement was sponsored by

This accolade is to recognise a member of our team who has consistently strived to develop their service area, their team and add value to the organisation in its many guises.

Congratulations to our winner: The E-Learning Team, Emily Strickland and Kim Cottingham at Beacon House

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Julie-Ann Murray – Catering Operations Manager
  • Katie Robinette – HR Advisor at Beacon House

Sustainability and Innovation was sponsored by


Sustainability is one of the Vertas group’s core values and is the right thing to do for our planet and our environment. Without innovation we will never move forward. This award recognises where sustainability or innovation has been put at the heart of our operations.

Congratulations to our winner: Lindsay Fowler, HR Manager at Beacon House

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Lee Johns – Head of FM from Endeavour House
  • Joanne Cogger – Catering Operations Manager

Inspiring Leaders was sponsored by


This award recognises our Inspiring leaders who develop and motivate their teams to deliver service excellence, in their chosen specialty.

Congratulations to our winner: Debra McKinney, Head of Kitchen at St. Benet’s Primary School

Well done to our finalists:

  • Daisy Lord – Business Support Officer at Beacon House
  • Richard Sore – HSQE Compliance and Governance CAD Technician at Beacon House

Going the Extra Mile was sponsored by

Paramount Security Solutions

This award recognises an individual who has gone above and beyond in the course of their work to provide service excellence or support to colleagues.

Congratulations to our winner: Louise Enoch, Legal and PA to the Group Directors at Beacon House

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Kim Murray – Catering Operations Manager
  • Paul Rivett – HSQE Compliance and Governance Advisor at Beacon House

Specialist of the Year was sponsored by


This award seeks to reward and recognise our service specialists who innovate and develop their area of expertise for the benefit of Vertas, its clients and customers.

Congratulations to our winner: Charlotte Johnson, Payroll Advisor at Schools’ Choice

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Barry Charles – Front of House Security Officer at Brentwood Borough Council
  • Milton Keynes Cleaning Team at Ambassador Theatre Group

Client Recognition was sponsored by

This new award for 2020 invites clients to nominate Vertas individual or teams to recognise the exceptional service they provide.

Congratulations to our winner: Julie-Ann Murray, Catering Operations Manager

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Carolin Boothby – Property Advisor at Riverside Offices
  • Julie Chambers – Food Service Assistant at Oulton Broad Primary School

Customer 1st was sponsored by

Customers are our lifeblood. This award recognises an individual or team who have provided exceptional client or customer service over a period of time, demonstrating a ‘customer first’ culture.

Thank you to all our sponsors for their support for our Making the Difference awards. Without you, this event would not be possible.

If you would like to find out more about sponsoring our awards, contact us today.

“My congratulations go to all the 2020 winners and finalists. I’m delighted with the record number of nominations this year, demonstrating how staff across the group have embraced the awards, now in their fifth year.”

Ian Surtees, MBA, FIoD, Vertas Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO)