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Stuart Rose, Sodexo Executive Chef at the Scottish Parliament winner of the 2023 Spirit of Sodexo Awards, Employee of the Year

Awards ceremony celebrates the ‘Spirit of Sodexo’

Last week saw Sodexo UK & Ireland celebrate its annual Spirit of Sodexo glittering awards dinner at ACC Liverpool, with more than 550 colleagues in attendance.

The awards celebrate service excellence across its business. This year, awards were given in 18 categories, including ‘Excellence in FM or Food Services’; ‘Rising Star’; ‘Growth and Retention’; ‘Positive Impact’; and ‘Spirit of Inclusion’.  There are also three top tier awards each year. These are ‘Employee of the Year’, ‘Manager of the Year’ and the CEO Award.

Joining UK&I CEO Sean Haley and Sodexo Ambassador, broadcaster and rugby world cup winner, Matt Dawson, on stage was guest host, Vernon Kay, who delighted the audience with his running commentary – and his commentary on his Ultramarathon Challenge running – throughout the evening.

Sodexo’s 2023 Employee of the Year went to Stuart Rose, Executive Chef at the Scottish Parliament. Rose has been with Sodexo since 1999 when he started out as Chef de Partie, before moving up the ranks to Head Chef and then to his current position in 2019 where he oversees a team of 14 providing food services at six outlets and for around 360 meetings a year.

Over the years, Rose and his team have catered for many VIP events but none as special and memorable as the royal ceremonial visit from King Charles III and the Queen Consort following Queen Elizabeth II’s passing. With extra stringent security in place, Rose and his team overcame site access challenges to deliver a respectful and fitting event marking the historic occasion. Rose is a valued member of Sodexo’s Government team and highly respected by colleagues, customers and clients.

Manager of the Year went to Sian Thompson, Account Director PFIs in Sodexo’s Schools and Universities division. The award was given in recognition of her aspirational, values-driven leadership style and people management skills brought to life by her team’s testimonials.

In an unusual move, highlighting what an extraordinary year this has been for Sodexo, the prestigious CEO Award was presented to three teams.

  • Sodexo Government, Cyprus operational team: for their unwavering professionalism supporting the military with the emergency evacuation from Sudan. The British Forces Base in Cyprus was used as the UK’s forward mounting base for the 2,450 evacuees. This not only required additional catering for those evacuated, but also for the additional 2,000 service personnel stationed on the island to support the evacuation.
  • Sodexo Government team: for the behind-the-scenes support for a number of historic events following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022 and the Coronation of King Charles III and the Queen Consort in May 2023. The team provided multi-faceted support across numerous locations to the huge cross-section and number of personnel involved in staging these events – from the Armed Forces and British Transport Police to government officials, the Metropolitan Police, Greater London Authority and Transport for London (TfL).
  • Sodexo Health & Care and Central Support: for exceptional behind the scenes work to ensure a seamless patient dining experience, despite supply chain disruption.

Hosted at the ACC Liverpool, where Sodexo Live! has been venue partner for 15 years, attendees were served a delicious three-course meal. This included locally sourced beef and bread rolls baked by apprenticeship students from the City of Liverpool College.

The ACC Liverpool team were winners on the night too, taking home the Team of the Year award after a busy 12 months which included supporting Eurovision and the Labour Party Conference.

Sean Haley, CEO Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We have some truly inspiring individuals and teams working across our business. This year has been extraordinary, with colleagues involved in some undeniably historic events. It is so important that our colleagues – who work tirelessly every day, and so often behind the scenes – know that we see them, we value the amazing things they do, and we are humbled by their stories. These awards – the culmination of a year’s recognition – are the highlight of our calendar and I extend huge congratulations to all our winners and finalists.”

The day before the Spirit of Sodexo Awards, Sodexo celebrated its longest-serving colleagues at their own special event at the ACC Liverpool. Over 160 colleagues attended the event with two celebrating  an amazing half century with the company. Others were celebrating 40, 30 and 20 years’ service. All recipients were invited to an informal lunch, before enjoying an afternoon at their choice of Liverpool’s famous sights, including the Tate Liverpool, Beatles Story tour, and the Maritime Museum. They then all gathered again at the ACC Liverpool for an evening of fine food provided by Sodexo Live! and entertainment.

About Sarah OBeirne

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