This week, we were honoured to host our annual Long Service Award celebration in recognition of all our colleagues who have reached 25 years continual service with the council. A total of 41 colleagues reached the 25 milestone this year, after started their journey with us back in 1997 to 1998, clocking up an incredible 1,025 years between them.
Recipients and their guests enjoyed afternoon tea in the town hall reception rooms before receiving personal thanks from the Leader of Barnsley Council, the Chief Executive, and the Mayor of Barnsley. Colleagues were recognised and thanked for their dedication, commitment, and contribution over the last 25 years in creating the borough of possibilities we see today.
Each recipient was then presented with a certificate and token of appreciation from their respective senior managers. During the ceremony, the group enjoyed listening to music from the charts 25 years ago when they joined the council – whether that be Aqua’s Barbie Girl, Spicing up our lives with the Spice Girls and Tubthumping with Chumbawamba. They also enjoyed reminiscing about life back then - when we had massive mobile phones more like bricks, a loaf of bread cost 52 pence and C & A was the shop of choice.
One of our 25-year service award winners, Anne-Marie Tolan, Reward and HR Systems Manager, said: “Looking back on my journey, I feel very privileged to have been able to experience the many opportunities presented to me. This includes the support and encouragement to undertake and achieve a range of qualifications to help me progress my career and be in the position I am in today.
“When asked recently what makes me stay here, I can honestly say it’s the great colleagues I work with, and the support and personal development offered by a great employer.
“Being able to celebrate my 25-year achievement with my daughter made this even more special and to see first-hand the great work that the council do to recognise and reward employees for their hard work and commitment over the years was a lovely experience.”
Cllr Sir Steve Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council, said: "I was delighted to be able to personally congratulate and thank our dedicated colleagues for their 25 years of service. Our Long Service Awards are a wonderful celebration and provide the opportunity to recognise and demonstrate our appreciation for their loyalty and hard work as they reach this tremendous milestone.
“So much has changed over the last 25 years, with the borough and organisation almost unrecognisable to what it was all those years ago. Our colleagues have stuck with us through all the highs and lows, and all played an invaluable role in driving forward our ambitions for the borough and getting to where we are today."
Sarah Norman, Chief Executive of Barnsley Council, said: "This year’s awards were a fabulous celebration for our longstanding colleagues. It says a lot about our organisation that employees choose to stay with us for so long. Our employees sit at the heart of the organisation and events like this enable us to give back a small token of our appreciation.
"So, to all our recipients, please accept our heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the last 25 years and here's to the next 25."