English Lakes – Celebrating the Best in Hospitality 2016

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 by admin

A special day in the English Lakes calendar, 24th March was when we announced the winners of our 2016 Employees of the Year. Directors and nominees attended a beautiful lunch at Lancaster House, eager to have the winners of seven different categories, including the prestigious MRWB Award, announced. A short citation taken from the nominations was read, and the winners received certificates and champagne.

Front of House Team Member of the Year

Often the first contact with guests on entering our premises, the criteria for this person are professionalism, knowledge of the company and complete customer focus

24 Nominations, 3 Shortlisted Nominees

  • Jeanette Simpson, The Wild Boar
  • Debbie Oliver, Low Wood Bay
  • Daniel Nevinson, Low Wood Bay Health Club

and the winner is… 

Debbie Oliver, Low Wood Bay

Always there when you need her, Debbie has a wealth of knowledge that you can’t put a value on, and is the foundation and heart of Low Wood Bay Reception. She always has a smile on her face and brings an uplifting warmth to the atmosphere of the hotel. We salute Debbie for over 15 years in her role at Low Wood Bay.

Chef of the Year

Nominees in this category exhibit skill, enthusiasm and professionalism and are integral to the smooth running of our food operation.

23 Nominations, 4 Shortlisted Nominees

  • Eddie Livingstone, The Midland
  • Philip Gavin, Low Wood Bay
  • Ben Barker, Waterhead
  • Nick Martin, Waterhead
  • and the winner is…

 Nick Martin, Waterhead

Dedicated to the progression of the menu and food production at Waterhead, in just over a year and a half Nick has transformed the offering and taken it to new heights in terms of creativity and quality. He is passionate about passing on his knowledge to the team, and encourages and motivates everyone in the kitchen.

F & B Team Member of the Year

Awarded to the person who has shown outstanding ability and knowledge in their field and customer focus throughout the year.

21 Nominations, 4 Shortlisted Nominees

  • Daniel Fox, Waterhead
  • Alin Pastragus, The Wild Boar
  • Jamie Walker, The Midland
  • Paul Cristian Banu, The Wild Boar

and the winner is …

Jamie Walker, The Midland

Jamie’s knowledge of the products he serves is fantastic, and his creations are phenomenal. He was integral in helping to put together the gin menu at The Midland and the great selection of rums and vodkas. He is always enthusiastic and wants only the best for the guests, the Rotunda, his colleagues and the hotel.

Housekeeping Team Member of the Year

Essential in the hospitality industry – the nominees for this category bring an extra shine with their attention to detail, quality standards and customer focus.

14 nominations, 4 shortlisted nominees 

  • Tammy Wilkinson, Low Wood Bay
  • Jimmy Smylie, Lancaster House
  • Gail Atkinson-Barlow, Lancaster
  • Enrique Olmedo, Waterhead

and the winner is …  Gail Atkinson-Barlow

A key player in the department, Gail is well respected and will take her hat off to anything to ensure the smooth running of the hotel. Her care and commitment shines through every day, and is delighted when she can go the extra mile for guests. Very popular with her colleagues, she is the go-to girl for colleagues who need a friendly ear and good advice.

Support Staff Team Member of the Year

The criteria for this award is consistent service that goes above and beyond expectations and makes raving fans out of their colleagues.

16 nominations and 6 shortlisted nominees

  • Tim Farmer, Accounts Dept
  • Jennifer Greenhalgh, Group Sales
  • Julie Elliott, Accounts Dept
  • Val Still, Group Opportunities
  • Denise Barnes, CRS
  • Vanessa Thackray, Lancaster House Personnel

and the joint winners are …

Denise Barnes, CRS and Julie Elliott, Accounts Dept, English Lakes

Julie has been in the department for almost two years now, and I don’t know what we would do without her. She is a real asset to the team – hardworking, friendly and with a nothing-is-too-much-trouble attitude.

A dedicated member of the CRS and well respected by all her colleagues, Denise is known as a thinker and a researcher. In 2016 she took it upon herself to monitor how many people called into the hotels to buy EL vouchers, only to be told they had to contact CRS or go via the website. Denise then suggested we sell the vouchers at the Reception of each unit – a suggestion which yielded almost £8.5K in the run up to Christmas alone.

Unsung Hero

Nominees for this award perform an excellent job, helping the smooth running and performance of the company – normally out of the limelight.

31 Nominations, 7 Shortlisted Nominees

  • Paul Brown, Low Wood Bay Watersports
  • Ondrej Heczko, Waterhead
  • Jade Hackett, Sandpiper Club
  • Dorota Suwala, The Midland
  • Harvie Rollins, English Lakes
  • Jimmy Smylie, Lancaster House
  • Michael Parker, Low Wood Bay

and the winner is… Michael Parker, Low Wood Bay, who, unfortunately, was unable to attend the event. 

Mick has worked as Night Manager for 17 years at Low Wood and has witnessed the dramas (staff and guests) and dealt with awkward scenarios, drunken guests, cleaned up sick and worse. Through all this he has remained calm and completely professional.  He is the greatest support to Low Wood, doing night audits and banking – and will spend an entire night finding 5p if the banking is out.

MRWB Award

This is our annual award made in memory of Michael Berry and awarded to the individual team member who, by their effort, has made the most significant contribution to the success of the company in the previous twelve month period.

25 Nominations, 3 Shortlisted Nominees:

and the winner is…

Approachable, always on hand, hard working, inspiring, respect – just some of the words that the team use to describe Mark. He has taken The Midland to a new standard of quality and service, and created a positive, safe workplace where team members feel valued and appreciated. Mark has brought his passion for hospitality to the job, and is generous with his time in coaching others. Mark Needham – the heart of The Midland.

Special Thanks to… 

Mrs Jean Berry, wife of the late Michael Berry, who presented the prizes.


Noah Jay, Lancaster House, who came in on his day off to take the photos!

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