Birmingham City Council celebrates top employees

The winners have been announced in Birmingham City Council’s (BCC) internal awards programme – the Chamberlain Awards –  which is designed to recognise employees who make a real difference to the lives of local people.

Kings Norton Cemetery Operative, Tony Purcell

Kings Norton Cemetery Operative, Tony Purcell with his award

BCC employees gathered at The ICC in Birmingham last Friday evening to discover who the winners would be in each of the ten categories – including dynamic leadership, personal achievement, excellent service delivery and people’s choice for service to the community – at the highly anticipated awards ceremony.

Winners include social worker Sian Padfield in the personal achievement category, SHARE Friends (a befriending service supporting people with a disability) in the equalities and communities category, and The Shard Design and Delivery team in the excellent service delivery category.

Tony Purcell

Tony Purcell

Additionally, Kings Norton Cemetery Operative, Tony Purcell, was named winner in the people’s choice for service to the community award – a special award that took nominations from the general public. Nominated by Nora Stevenson, a frequent visitor to the cemetery following the death of her young son, Tony was congratulated for his kindness and his friendly and welcoming attitude.

Nora Stevenson said: “Tony has been responsible for making my visits to the cemetery much more bearable, he has an amazing ability to be able to brighten up my day and he will always take the time to ask after my family and help entertain my three year old son when we are at the grave. To some this many seem like a small thing, but when your world has been turned upside down it takes small things, like making an effort to say hello, to help make sense of it all.

“I am so pleased that Tony has won this award, he is so humble and he truly deserves to be recognised for all his hard work and the positive affect he has had on other people’s lives. It seems that his job is much more than a job to Tony and to the families that visit Kings Norton cemetery, Tony is a lot more than just a member of staff.”

Tony Purcell said: “To have been nominated for this award, let alone win it, is just astounding.  I don’t really consider what I’ve done to be anything special – it’s just my job – but I am immensely pleased that I’ve been able to help put a smile back on people’s faces when they are visiting the cemetery.”

Now in its eighth year, The Chamberlain Awards is named after Joseph Chamberlain – one of Birmingham’s most respected Civic Leaders – and is designed to reward BCC workers who go the extra mile to ensure that people of Birmingham receive quality services. All ten categories, other than the people’s choice award, received nominations internally from BCC employees.

Councillor Muhammad Afzal said: “The Chamberlain Awards is a fantastic way to help celebrate the achievements of those who work for Birmingham City Council. The council’s role is to help provide facilities and care to the people of Birmingham, ensuring that the city is a great place to both live and work. Often, we can all get so wrapped up in what we’re doing that we forget to say thank you to others for their hard work, or we take people’s dedication and achievements for granted. The Chamberlain Awards gives us a chance to focus on the individuals and teams that have showed tremendous commitment and determination to achieve great things for this city and the people in it.”

The Chamberlain Awards is funded through sponsorship from local and national businesses. For further information on the Chamberlain Awards, or to read about the winners in further detail visit

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