CSP representatives of the year 2022

After a two-year break, the CSP's rep of the year awards returned this week to recognise the tireless work of our elected representatives.

CSP representatives pose for a group photo receiving their award on stage
CSP representatives of the year, 2022, receiving their awards. Photo: Asadour Guzelian

CSP members and staff submitted over 60 nominations this year, spread across four different award categories.

One of our judges, Jill Taylor, chair of the CSP employment committee, describes the difficulty in selecting the eventual winners:  'It was an honour to judge Rep of The Year and I was blown away by the calibre and number of nominations this year.

As a steward I know how tough the last few years have been and reps have been stretched and challenged to their limits.

'Acknowledgment by those we represent is a wonderful testament to the often unseen work stewards do for their members.'

 However, the judges were eventually able to identify four winners, who received their awards during the evening of the first day of the CSP's 2022 Annual Representatives conference.  The winners are:

Paula Wheeler – safety rep of the year

A safety rep of six years, over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic Paula was key to maintaining safe working practices not only for CSP members but for all staff at their trust.  In the words of a member:

'Paula is the backbone to our department, offering help and guidance when needed. During the pandemic she was a pivotal member of the team, giving updates about PPE, safety measures and generally helping to ease people concerns and help wherever she could. She is not afraid to get stuck in, and is a champion for the support workers of our hospital.'

Josh Meadows - CSP steward of the year

Josh has taken a lead role in supporting physiotherapy staff through multiple consultations, ensuring best outcomes for them challenging management on multiple occasions.  Josh has also developed a communication strategy within their trust to aid recruitment and retention, and improve the profile of the profile of the CSP and other health unions.

This year the CSP introduced two new award categories:

CSP steward Manessa Faal is the first to receive the award foroutstanding contribution to equality in the workplace

Among other work, Manessa has arranged for the CSP’s Lets Tackle Racism training programme to be delivered in all physiotherapy departments’ in-service training, having completed this herself as a steward. Manessa describes how she felt winning the award:

'I have been a steward since 2014 and it means a lot to have the work of myself and the steward team I work with recognised.  I have been working hard alongside a dynamic group of members, CSP stewards, safety reps, CSP staff, and HEI leaders to improve the equality and equity within the Welsh health service and the communities we serve, and this award is a testament to the hard work and achievements we have made so far.'

And, in recognition of the collective nature of workplace representation, a rep team of the year award was introduced.  This year, this was awarded to the stewards and safety reps in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.

A sudden loss of rehab space led to this rep team, who had only been in post for around two years to come together and work tirelessly to support their members.

The team responded swiftly, working together, methodically, and strategically, to engage members, gather supporting evidence and ultimately submit the largest grievance ever received by the hospital. Other CSP reps have since gone on to use this approach as a model, replicating it across the country.

  • Watch out for our July edition of Frontline, where we will have a extended look at our winners' vital work.  Search #CSPARC22 on social media to see how our delegates greeted the awards.
  • Could you be a CSP rep? If you have been inspired by what you have read here then join us! Email jointheteam@csp.org.uk

The CSP extends it thanks to Thompsons Solicitors for sponsoring the awards, the 60+ members and members of staff who took the time to detail the tireless contribution of their workplace representatives, and of course our reps themselves.

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