A nurse has picked up the top prize at Brighton and Hove’s Public Service Awards.
Majella Keller, a hepatitis nurse at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, won the Public Servant of the Year award.
A former patient nominated her for her commitment to her patients and for her community work – she looks after elderly people in her spare time.
The awards – now in their second year – were held at The Grand to honour the unsung heroes of Brighton and Hove.
Olympic hurdler Sally Gunnell hosted the ceremony on Monday evening, with the winners having been nominated by appreciative members of the public.
The awards were set up by Brighton and Hove City Council to recognise the work of people working in public services across the city, including volunteers and community groups.
The Carelink Community Alarm Service, a council-run service which provides a 24-hour link for people to summon help in an emergency, was voted Public Service of the Year.
School caretaker Ken Adsett won the School Support Champion Award for his work at St Bernadette’s RC Primary School in Brighton.
He was nominated by the head teacher for his commitment to the school.
Mr Adsett works evenings and weekends whenever necessary and even appeared in the school pantomime.
Ron Ayres, who runs the Lost Cats Brighton charity from his home in Portslade, was voted Volunteer of the Year.
Mr Ayres has rescued and found new homes for thousands of cats over the years and helped to educate people about cat welfare.
Councillor Mary Mears, the leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, said: “The awards are an opportunity to celebrate the city’s unsung heroes in public services across the city and put the spotlight on the tremendous work they do.
“Staff in schools, the health service, the police, the fire and rescue services and the council, including the numerous volunteers across the city, play a vital role in shaping the culture of the city.
“Their work makes a real difference to the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.
“We would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees for their commitment, and thank our sponsors who have made this event possible.”
The cost of the ceremony was covered by a number of sponsors, including Juice Radio and Bo Ho Green.
The winners were
- Public Servant of the Year – Mijella Keller
- Public Service of the Year – Carelink Community Alarm Service
- Volunteer of the Year – Ron Ayres
- School Support Champion Award – Ken Adsett
- East Sussex Fire and Rescue Services Community Safety Award – Becky Poole, Safe Coomb 2010, a safety awareness project in Moulsecoomb
- Best Sustainability Initiative Award – The Big Lemon CIC
- Sports and Physical Activity Award – Brighton and Hove Albion in the Community
- Best Community Initiative Award – The Whitehawk Inn
- Best Partnership Award – Lifelines
- Tackling Inequality Award – Federation of Disabled People
- Best Health and Well Being Initiative Award – Brighton and Hove Impetus
- Best Contribution to the Local Economy Award – Julie Stanford, for her work as president of Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce
- Most Improved Service Award – Democratic Service Team Brighton and Hove City Council
- Innovative Customer Service Award – Brighton and Hove City Council Business Rates Team
For more details on the awards, visit www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/awards.