Station Supervisor named ‘Northern Star of the Year’

A station supervisor from Garforth has been awarded Northern Rail’s highest honour in customer service, by the UK’s largest rail operator.

Angela Thompson, who has worked at Garforth station for ten years, was named ‘Northern Star of the Year’ for consistently going the extra mile for her customers, winning a £4,000 luxury holiday.

On one occasion, although it was her day off, Angela remembered that one of her regular elderly passengers travelled on that day.

She knew that this particular passenger was too shy to ask for help and would definitely struggle on her own. Angela dropped everything and rushed to Garforth where she helped the passenger to board the train.

The customer was so delighted that someone had thought to do that for her, that she wrote to tell Northern how fabulous Angela is and how ‘she always felt relieved when she saw Angela at the station’.

This isn’t the only time Angela’s efforts have been recognised as she was also named by Radio 2 listeners as one of the most helpful people on the railway.

Angela, who has worked for Northern for 7 years, since the start of the franchise, beat off stiff competition from 37 other finalists, the culmination of Northern’s monthly Northern Star winners, and was presented her award by event sponsors Sally Fuller and Des Hunt from Kcom and Northern Rail Managing Director, Ian Bevan.

Ian Bevan said: “Angela really is a star and a fantastic example of the level of customer service we want to provide our customers. She really does go above and beyond what is expected and we are very proud that she works with us.”

Angela said: “I can’t believe this has happened to be honest. I really enjoy what I do and love meeting and greeting our passengers every day.

“I am so honoured the judges chose me to win and I want to say thank you to my colleagues and customers who nominated me for this.”

The Northern Stars initiative has recently won awards itself from the Institute of Internal Communications – taking the top prize at this year’s ceremony, beating competition from the likes of Barclays, O2 and Lloyds.

Three ‘Rising Star’ accolades were also awarded to:

  • Mike Sheehan – conductor from Middlesbrough who helped a student on a failed train make it to her A-Level exam by liaising with the examining board, chaperoning her on the train and ensuring she got to school as quickly as possible under the strict conditions so she could still sit her exam.
  • Bernard Jackson – Riding Inspector from Newton Heath who worked through the night, travelling to four different locations to fix failed units, ensuring passengers could travel on our trains the following day.
  • Lisa Davis – Gateline Operator from Bradford Interchange who was travelling on a train on her day off when the service struck a person on the line. As the driver needed assistance from the conductor, Lisa sprang into action and informed the customers she worked for Northern and explained what had happened to the understandably shaken passengers. She handed out ‘here to help cards’ and reassured the customers until the train started moving again.

The three rising stars were all given £250 to spend on a weekend break and £50 of shopping / restaurant vouchers.

The event was attended by 110 people at the Aspire venue in Leeds, on Wednesday 27 July 2011.

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