Margaret Ann Beaton, who is responsible for the operation of The Highland Council’s five school residences, has been chosen as the Council's Employee of the year. She received her prize at the Council's annual Quality Awards, held at the Town House, Inverness, on Thursday night.
Margaret Ann is based in Portree but also looks after hostels at Mallaig, Plockton, Strontian and a soon-to-open new establishment at Ullapool. The residences provide accommodation for pupils who live too far from school to travel on a daily basis. This year there are 108 boarders.
She was nominated by Hugh Fraser, Director of Education Culture and Sport.
Mr Fraser said: “Margaret Ann is an outstanding member of staff. Her professionalism, skills and commitment have consistently ensured that the pupils with the residences receive the highest standards of care. She relates well to young people and has a genuine commitment to involving them in the planning of the service. Pupils consistently report high levels of satisfaction with the residences and the standards set by Margaret Ann in fostering an atmosphere of mutual respect between pupils and staff.”
Short-listed for Employee of the Year were Janice Wilson, Housing Policy Officer, based at Inverness, who has special responsibility for tackling homelessness, and Sheena MacLellan, Team Manager of the East Urban Social Work Adult Care Team at Culloden, Inverness.
Three members of staff received awards for being commended by their Community Council for special recognition. Moira MacDonald, Service Point Officer at Golspie/Brora was commended by Golspie Community Council; Lorna Michie, a nursery assistant at Strontian Primary School, was nominated by Sunart Community Council; and Graham Ross, a community works operative based at Tain, was proposed by Edderton Community Council.
Team of the Year went to the Social Work Care at Home Management Team, who led a major restructuring and modernisation of their Service over the past year.
Joint Trainees of the Year were Theresa Batchelor, trainee solicitor, Inverness, Erica Cormack, trainee social worker, Inverness; Hayley Outram, assistant technician, TEC Services, Golspie; and Florence Cargill, administrative assistant, TEC Services, Mallaig.
Innovation of the Year was won by the Project Design Unit of Transport Environmental and Community Services for the innovative techniques used in refurbishing the Kyle of Tongue Bridge, North-West Sutherland.
The full list of winners is:
- Category 1 Supporting Children and Families: Milton of Leys Primary School, Inverness – Housing and Property/Education Culture and Sport
- Category 2 Supporting Communities and Older People: Working Together with Highland Rainbow Folk – Chief Executive’s Service/Social Work
- Category 3 Contributing to the Economy: Highland Leader Programme – Planning and Development/Finance
- Category 4 Protecting and Developing the Environment: Quality recylcables – Transport Environmental and Community Services
- Category 5 Making the Council more Effective and Efficient: Preventing Homelessness – Housing and Property
- Category 6 Partnership Working and Joint Service Delivery: Sense Re-provisioning Project – Social Work
- Chairman's Award: Barclays Scottish Open – Planning and Development/Chief Executive’s Service
The sponsors of the event were Morrison Construction, Fujitsu, Viridor and Zurich Municipal.