CTSI announces branch and section Hero Award winners
Several trading standards professionals have today been recognised at the CTSI's annual Hero Awards. The awards, which recognise the work of consumer protection professionals took place for the first time online, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The challenges of the past year provided fertile soil for consumer protection professionals to demonstrate their abilities; all of whom went above and beyond to serve their communities.
Cenred Elworthy, Manager at London Trading Standards, won a Hero Award for providing unprecedented support to his staff during the pandemic. Cenred helped his team of four Trading Standards Officers to adapt to their new responsibilities during the crisis. This award for Cenred caps off an excellent period for the team, which won the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) Team of the Year Award last year.
Lorraine Porter, an area inspector in Belfast, was recognised with an award for her superb work leading enforcement staff during the pandemic. Lorraine sourced laptops and phones, personally delivering them to redeployed staff. The team was inundated with enquiries during the crisis, and Lorraine often worked late at night and on weekends to provide much-needed support to the community. Additionally, she created forums for colleagues to share best practice and support colleagues. On top of this, Lorraine organised virtual tea breaks for staff while caring for her young family.
Paul Holland of Angus Trading Standards is the personification of the CTSI Hero Award and receives the award alongside the prestigious Brian Smith Award for the incredible work over the past seven years. Paul worked with the late Brian Smith in 2013 to put together a package of advice, info, service and support for vulnerable people for a variety of scams – a new idea at the time. The scheme began in three Scottish regions, and thanks to Paul's perseverance and skilful negotiating for funding; this was rolled out across the whole of Scotland.
Lee Ormandy and the prevention team of Bucks and Surrey Trading Standards received an award for his diligent work during the lockdown. When the pandemic hit, Lee drafted a letter to all vulnerable residents in both counties, covering COVID-19 security as well as information on scams. The work was so good, National Trading Standards (NTS) adopted the wording and distributed it to all local trading standards departments. Following the letter, the team started making weekly phone calls to the vulnerable to provide support, often numbering over 250 calls per week. Through protective measures, the prevention team saved residents £31,000 being lost to criminals, from January to March 2020, rising to £101,100 during the April - June period.
This year's overall winner award goes to Vicki Burch, Lead Officer for Product Safety at Hertfordshire Trading Standards for ten years, and Chair of the East of England Product Safety Group. Vicki won the overall Hero Award for her strong partnership building skills with organisations throughout the consumer protection landscape and for her decisive action in the face of the pandemic.
Vicki promptly upskilled team members and produced guides to help support local businesses at a time where Government guidance was lacking. She oversaw consistent messaging across the Eastern Region, and liaised with the Government on PPE, carrying out training on PPE regulations on behalf of CTSI and the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) to over 500 local authority trading standards officers.
Eleni Chalkidou, Director of Communications at CTSI, said:
"Congratulations to all winners of our COVID-19 Team Hero Awards. What I love about the trading standards profession is that no matter what is thrown at it, it will rise to the challenge and deliver. Consumer protection professionals demonstrated their worth, brilliance and commitment up and down the country, and we are excited to recognise their achievements.
“Hopefully, come 2021, the pandemic will no longer present a threat, and we will be able to recognise Hero Awards winners once again face to face."
CTSI Press Office: firstname.lastname@example.org, 01268 582240
Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)
CTSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally. We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities. CTSI's members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses. www.tradingstandards.uk