The people of Aberdeen are unique. There’s a kindness, compassion and ability to empathise with others. I believe those qualities are embodied in the 8,500 staff who work for Aberdeen City Council.
They are among the most dedicated workforce in the country and it’s seeing first-hand the work they do on a day-to-day basis which allows me to say with conviction that the personal satisfaction I get from leading this local authority comes from their efforts.
Every year, Aberdeen City Council stages the Star Awards to celebrate the exceptional work of our staff. Representatives from services across the council converged on the Beach Ballroom on Thursday night (June 2) to recognise their work over the past 12 months.
Aberdeen is in the process of rolling out the biggest regeneration programme in the city’s history and our staff are the engine room driving this programme of change.
The well-oiled machine – which ensures the city ticks over and can get on with its business – is supplemented by those officers who are leading and executing the huge infrastructure projects, the new road models and schools, social housing, digital infrastructure and the upgrading of the city centre.
Of course, we all know and value the very visible services provided everyday by Aberdeen City Council staff such as keeping our streets clean and maintaining our beautiful parks.
But just think of all the teachers, carers, social workers and other frontline staff who are entrusted with the care of our elderly and the education of our young. Many among our workforce often go unrecognised as they operate behind the scenes, dealing sometimes with very challenging situations and issues. I was proud to be standing amongst them on Thursday and to share in their celebration of exceptional service, passion and dedication.
And I was thrilled to present the People’s Champion award at the event – an award designed to recognise the extraordinary work done by staff, both inside and outside the workplace.
The winner was Davie Henderson, a City Warden, who spends most of his spare time raising money for young cancer survivors from Chernobyl. Each year Davie brings a small group to holiday in the Granite City, providing these brave young people with some much-needed respite from their life in the Ukraine.
Davie was among five finalists for the People’s Champion award. But there’s no getting away from the fact that all of our staff are winners.