Sunday, 19 September 2021

Cleaner sweeps up loyalty prize at RAF awards

A CLEANER at RAF Benson was among the winners at the base’s annual awards dinner.

A CLEANER at RAF Benson was among the winners at the base’s annual awards dinner.

Marie Hazell says she couldn’t believe that she had even been nominated for the loyalty award.

“I thought, ‘no way is a cleaner ever going to win an award’ but I was so pleased after I had got over the shock,” she said.

Ms Hazell, who has worked at the base for seven years, says she enjoys her job, which involves cleaning five buildings, including the 230 Squadron.

“I am just so proud to be cleaning their buildings,” she said. “They are a great bunch and you meet lots of different people every day.”

Ms Hazell is known as the “unofficial squadron matron” for keeping personnel in line. “They get told ‘I’m cleaning your desk, make sure you clear everything away’ and, on the whole, they do it,” she said.

Her four children were particularly pleased that their mother’s hard work was rewarded.

“They are really proud and the day after the ceremony they sent me a box of chocolates and a card saying congratulations,” said Ms Hazell.

The teamwork award was presented to Corporal Craig Moorhouse, who led a team working in sub-zero conditions to ensure that a trials aircraft could be produced to a tight deadline.

He was described as demonstrating “the highest levels of teamwork during the challenging circumstances”.

Senior Aircraftman Samuel Jepp was presented with the award for resourcefulness and innovation.

He volunteered to re-design the station café and sports bar and produced drawings for improvements which were incorporated into the final plans as well as spending his time off promoting a fire safety campaign.

The award for professional excellence was presented to Senior Aircraftman Justin Miles, who works as an ICT technician within the engineering and logistics wing.

He also voluntarily works as the lead local security officer for all secret computer equipment.

The Spirit of Benson award was presented to Senior Aircraftwoman Stacey Hadlum.

She is a general technician who works within the engineering support squadron and is a co-driver and team welder for the armed forces rally team.

She took part in the team vehicle build challenge and helped build a new rally car from a chassis in 36 hours.

Group Captain Nigel Colman, station commander of RAF Benson, praised all the nominees and winners for their hard work.

“It made me extremely proud to read all the nominations and I give my sincere thanks for what you do on a daily basis,” he said.

“We are a team and thanks to all your efforts, from one end of the spectrum to the other and across all boundaries, we are very well prepared for anything that may be thrown at us in the future.”

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