Council stars awarded for outstanding work

Calderdale Council staff who go above and beyond for our communities were recognised at the annual Our Stars awards ceremony on Thursday 28 September. 

A record number of nominations highlighted the massive range of services that the Council provides – from care, community protection and tackling the cost of living crisis, to housing, libraries, finance and ICT.

The award entries also showed the Vision 2024 for Calderdale in action, with stories of staff going the extra mile and doing amazing things to demonstrate Calderdale as a place of enterprise and talent, kindness, resilience and distinctiveness.

The shortlisted staff gathered at the awards ceremony at the Arches, Dean Clough in Halifax, which was funded through sponsorship from local organisations. The Council’s Chief Executive, Robin Tuddenham, opened and closed the event with thank you speeches, and awards were presented by the Mayor of Calderdale, the Leader of the Council, Cabinet Members and senior officers. 

Robin Tuddenham, Chief Executive of Calderdale Council, said:

“The Council’s vast and varied work touches the lives of everyone across Calderdale. Our amazing staff and volunteers are putting the Council’s three priorities into action every day, with support from local communities. They’re helping our towns to thrive, reducing inequalities and taking climate action, in challenging circumstances.

“The Our Stars awards are an opportunity to recognise the impact that staff and volunteers make in helping people to live happier, healthier and larger lives, in towns and places where people want to live, work, do business and visit.

“Congratulations to all the winners, whose stories are heart-warming and inspiring.”

The Council’s Early Advice and Support Team was named Team of the Year for its tireless work alongside voluntary organisations to help the most vulnerable residents, who may be struggling financially or mentally.

The team recently helped a resident who had fled domestic abuse, couldn’t afford to buy food or basic hygiene items, had no cooking facilities and was isolated with no internet access. The team helped with the immediate issues, and by going the extra mile to talk to the resident every day, they understood the longer-term support that was needed, and applied for the benefits that the resident was entitled to.

The Independent Visitors won Volunteers of the Year. Independent Visitors support, advise and befriend a child or young person in care. They share a hobby, sport or interest, help with school or college work and go on outings, building up a trusting relationship.

One volunteer has supported a young person through an extremely challenging and sensitive time involving several home moves, leaving the area where their birth family lives, and the breakdown of a long-term relationship. The young person’s mental health suffered during these transitions, and even when they moved away, the Independent Visitor continued to see the young person, driving miles across country so they could meet up for a walk.

The Town and Place Ambassador Award went to the Place Development Team, which was formed in September 2021 to help businesses get back on their feet and to get the visitor economy thriving again after the pandemic. Just some of the team’s successes include supporting Wainhouse Tower open days to increase people’s connection with this historic landmark; hosting Visit Calderdale market stalls to promote the area to residents and visitors; supporting the Anne Lister Birthday Festival; leading a guided walk around Shibden Valley to highlight Gentleman Jack filming locations; and holding regular Business Hub drop-in sessions at local libraries.

Richard Armitage and his team, the Healthy Homes Team, were named Climate Heroes. They support residents struggling to stay warm in the cost of living crisis because of high energy bills. Richard and his team saw the link between meeting net zero carbon targets and helping people to stay warm and healthy and reduce their bills. They successfully applied for funding from the Innovate UK Net Zero Living Programme to insulate stone-built homes and make them more energy efficient. As one of only 21 councils in the country to receive this funding, it’s a testament to the team’s skills that Calderdale was selected. 

Louise Moreland, a child protection social worker, came top in the Reducing Inequalities award. She has shown great kindness and gone above and beyond to help a vulnerable mother make positive changes to be able to safely parent her child. This has involved Louise committing hours of her time to join the mother at evening classes to build her skills, and learning new ways to communicate with the mother in a way that she understands. This has helped the mother to live independently, reduce her isolation and understand child protection and legal processes.

The full list of Our Stars winners is as follows:

Town and Place Ambassador Award (sponsored by Geldards LLP)

The Place Development Team

Climate Hero(es) Award (sponsored by AHR Architects Ltd)

Richard Armitage and The Healthy Homes Team

Reducing Inequalities Award (sponsored by the Community Foundation for Calderdale)

Louise Moreland – Children’s Social Worker

Early Career Colleague of the Year Award (sponsored by Calderdale College)

Louis Smith – Early Intervention Team, Children and Young People’s Services

Team of the Year Award (sponsored by Code Building Solutions)

The Early Advice and Support Team

Inspirational Leader Award (sponsored by MAC Construction Consultants)

Sarah Richardson – Assistant Director of Customer Services

Improvement and Innovation Award (sponsored by YPO)

Intermediate Care Team – Adult Services and Wellbeing

Outstanding Act of Kindness Award (sponsored by Dean Clough)

Nasar Ahmed – HR Contracts and Payroll Administrator

Siobhan Laheney – Asset Planning Manager

The Family Intervention Team – Children and Young People’s Services

Faye Hamer – Customer First Operations Lead

Graham Teal – Contract Monitoring and Support Officer – Waste Management

Volunteer(s) of the Year Award (sponsored by Halifax & Skircoat Green Directories)

Independent Visitors Team

Health and Wellbeing Award

Jane Kirk – People Development Manager

Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion Award (sponsored by Forbes Solicitors)

Roberta Crossley – Libraries Team Leader

Leader’s Award (sponsored by The Bigger Boat)

Sheron Hobson – Policy and Partnership Support Officer

Chief Executive’s Award (sponsored by Turner & Townsend)

Heidi Waters – Strategic Housing Delivery Manager

The year 2024 marks Calderdale’s 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? Get involved with the debate on X with #VisionCdale2024 and find out more at

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