Employees at Reading Buses have once again proven that they ‘remain the best in the business’.
So said Caroline Anscombe, Reading Buses HR Director, who was commenting on a ‘fantastic night’ as the company celebrated their amazing employees on their Night with the Stars. The evening commended employees who had demonstrated a dedication to customers in the past year – with the grand finale crowning the Star of the Year for 2023.
And on the night it was driver Jim Meredith, 60, of Tilehurst, who came out on top. He won a Star of the Month award in March for getting off his bus and helping to escort a blind customer across the road. He was praised for being authoritative but polite to road users to ensure that the person got across the road safely.
When deciding on the main winner, the Reading Buses panel took into account Jim’s excellent record throughout his 25-year career with the company and how he was always helpful, polite and a pleasure to work with. Jim was a popular winner on the night. Jim had earlier won Driving Star of the Year and was put forward against the Engineering Star of the Year and Support Star of the Year for the overall Star of the Year accolade.
The Engineering Star of the Year award went to Andy Gordon, 40, of Reading, who was recognised by the night engineering team for stepping up and achieving great results for the department. He was praised for creating a cohesive working environment both inside the engineering team and with the operations department. Again, he was praised for his attitude over a significant period – 22 years.
Support Star of the Year award went to Awais Iqbal, 32, of Reading, who had been nominated by a colleague in the Reading Buses control room. He won his award for consistently performing his duties to a ‘very high standard, remaining calm under pressure and dealing professionally with all stakeholders’. Awais, who was also praised for helping to cover the allocations role after a short training period, was described as a ‘credit to the team’.
Reading Buses also introduced two new awards this year: Customer Champion and Rising Star.
Customer Champion was awarded to driver Ka Hai Wong, 32, of Reading, who had received numerous outstanding pieces of customer feedback which prompted two Star of the Month nominations. He was described as ‘consistently demonstrating customer focus to the highest standards of courtesy, politeness, patience and helpfulness’. He also achieved a perfect score on his most recent Mystery Traveller report showing his excellence and dedication to the customer.
Rising Star was awarded to driver Manisha Gurung, 32, of Reading, who has been keen to take on more responsibility over the last 12 months. Manisha had put herself forward to help supervise at the Reading Festival site overnight and has subsequently become a relief trainer for the Reading Buses Academy to help train new drivers, and helped out as a relief supervisor in the Control Room – more than earning her Rising Star title.
Robert Williams, Chief Executive Officer, said: “A fantastic night was had by all as we celebrated our wonderful employees who have done great things over the previous 12 months. “We were delighted to see so many people attend and had Stars of the Month, retirees, long service employees, employees with the most customer compliments, platinum “DriveWell” scores and people who had completed qualifications.
“It is wonderful to be able to celebrate so many great things and prove once again that our employees remain the best in the business.”
Reading Buses say the night would not have been possible without the generosity of their sponsors: Bus & Coach World, Alexander Dennis, Ticketer, EP Morris Group, R2P, Blandy & Blandy, Dawson Group, Personal Group, Mix Telematics and Lazzerini.