Wales’ contact centre workers celebrated at awards ceremony

The heroes of Wales’ contact centres have been celebrated at the industry’s 24th annual awards ceremony hosted by TV star Richard Ayoade.

The 2022 Welsh Contact Centre Awards saw individuals and businesses within the sector hailed for their successes over the past 12 months including achievements like supporting inclusivity and the mental wellbeing of employees.

The awards, supported by headline sponsor Jomo People, celebrate a sector that contributes £650m annually to the Welsh economy and employs 32,000 people from 200 businesses across the country.

Over 490 guests at the event at the Cardiff City Stadium on Friday, September 30, saw gold and silver awards presented in 19 categories.

The night saw Starling Bank crowned Medium/Large Inhouse Contact Centre of the Year, while Which? and Sky took home joint silver awards; Legal & General Direct Sales were awarded gold in the Small Inhouse Contact Centre of the Year category; and in the Micro Inhouse Contact Centre of the Year category ONS Office For National Statistics took home gold and Principality Connect took home silver.

Gold Winner of Inhouse Contact Centre of the Year (Medium/large) – Starling Bank

Best Inclusion Strategy went to Nantgarw-based Connect Assist after they launched their new Sign Assist programme, a bespoke contact service for Deaf people which is run by the contact centre’s Deaf team members.

Hero of the Year was awarded to Allyson Bowden from The Royal Mint, while Apprentice of the Year was presented to Delyth Owen from the DVLA, and Siona McKay from Legal & General Direct Sales and David Darling from Capital on Tap shared the top prize for this year’s Rising Star.

The People Engagement, Mental Health & Wellbeing award was taken home by Sky; Advisor of the Year was won by Jo O’Brien of SSCL; Kimberley Evans from Lloyds Banking Group and Neil Andrews from PHS Group were joint gold winners in the Support Person of the Year category.

Rosa Cartwright from Molson Coors and Ffion England from Deloitte were joint gold winners for Team Leader of the Year; Bradley Walker from Which? took home gold for Trainer of the Year; Support Manager was shared by Scott Williams from CGI and Dai Phipps from The Consumer Helpline; Contact Centre Manager was won by Polly Jones of Lloyds Banking Group.

Senior Manager of the Year went to Louise Phillips of Virgin Atlantic Airways; Best Agile Working Programme was won by BT; The Customer Engagement gold awards were shared by The Safeguarding Company and MotoNovo Finance.

Support Team of the Year was won by Lloyds Banking Group; Best Public Sector Helpline was awarded to SSCL Shared Services Connected Ltd; Legal & General Retail Protection and Virgin Atlantic Airways were joint gold award winners for the People Development category; and CGI were crowned Outsourced Contact Centre of the Year.

Best Public Sector Helpline Winner – SSCL Shared Services Connected Ltd

In a message shared with the those attending the awards, Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething, said: “It is wonderful to be able to have an occasion like this to celebrate one of our very strong sectors in the economy here in Wales.

“There’s a market worth in the region of £600m to the Welsh economy, to recognise the pride that we have in our customer services, but also to recognise that we’re on the cutting edge of this sector.”

He added: “The work that the Forum does to provide employment opportunities from entry level skills suitable to those otherwise at risk of exclusion, right up to graduate posts and senior management roles is one that I’m very proud of.”

Sandra Busby, Managing Director of the Welsh Contact Centre Forum, said: “We’d like to congratulate all our winners and nominees for this year’s awards, whose excellent work continues to support and contribute to the success of individuals and organisations across Wales.

“We’re particularly proud of the strength of the nominations in the Best Inclusion Strategy category, as well as People Engagement, Mental Health and Wellbeing, which demonstrates how this industry is one where people of all abilities and backgrounds are supported to develop and succeed.

Best Inclusion Strategy Gold Winner – Connect Assist

“The sector contributes so much by the Welsh economy, something underlined by the Economy minister by sharing his message with us all. And so we wish the very best success to our colleagues across the sector for the next 12 months as they play their important role in helping others overcome the many different challenges they face.”

The headline sponsor of the Welsh Contact Centre Awards is Jomo People, who specialise in recruiting for the sector.

Sarah Hopkins, Co-Founder and Talent Partner at Jomo People, said: “We are delighted to continue as headline sponsor for the Welsh Contact Centre Awards again this year. The ceremony demonstrates that there is so much to love about working in this sector.

“For flexibility and progression, this industry really leads the way, and we look forward to helping others from a range of backgrounds into carve out their own careers in it.”

Alongside headline sponsors Jomo People, Welsh Government, Deloitte, Jabra, CGI, SSCL, University of Gloucestershire, Admiral, Yolk Recruitment, Daktela, Clarita Solutions and SLD Wealth were category sponsors and Arvato support sponsor.