Grundon team wins Unsung Hero award at major NHS Trust

A waste team led by Grundon Waste Management is celebrating after winning an ‘Unsung Hero’ award from London North West University Healthcare (LNWH) NHS Trust.

The announcement was made at the Trust’s annual Staff Excellence Awards, held just before the Covid-19 lockdown, and celebrated with a gala dinner at Wembley Stadium.

The waste team, which includes waste porters and managers, attended the Trust's Staff Excellence Awards to collect the 'Unsung Hero' award.
The waste team, which includes waste porters and managers, attended the Trust's Staff Excellence Awards to collect the 'Unsung Hero' award.

For Grundon’s Toye Ogunleye, who heads the team as the Waste Manager (NHS Trust) based at Northwick Park Hospital, the award was very special because it demonstrated just how much he and his colleagues are appreciated.

“When our name was announced it was a wonderful surprise,” said Toye. “We knew we had been nominated but we never expected to win. The nature of waste management is that we are always working away quietly in the background, generally no-one sees what we do.

“The judges told us we received the highest number of nominations, which showed us people do pay attention and recognise the importance of our role. To hear that we are appreciated as unsung heroes meant a lot.

He concluded: “I was especially thrilled that all the members of our waste team were there on the night to celebrate. Because of our different shift patterns and the long hours we work, we never usually manage to get all the team together under one roof, so it was very special and we’d like to say a big thank you to everyone that nominated us.”

The Trust’s Facilities Contracts Manager, Brenda Brown, said: “We are absolutely thrilled for Toye and all his team. They do a fantastic job and thoroughly deserve their Unsung Hero award. It is so good to be able to say thank you to them for all their hard work and the amazing success they deliver for us every day in managing our waste.”

Grundon’s 20+-strong team, which includes waste porters and managers, works across the Trust’s three acute hospital sites – Northwick Park and St Mark’s Hospitals, Central Middlesex Hospital and Ealing Hospital – and nine community sites, managing all healthcare waste, hazardous waste, domestic waste, recycling, food, WEEE and confidential waste.

Its achievements have helped LNWH Trust to achieve ongoing 100% diversion of waste from landfill, new waste streams have been introduced, training events held together with waste awareness days and roadshows, and a Waste Champions Group has been recruited.

Last autumn, the Trust was awarded its second consecutive Bronze Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice in the Wastes Management NHS and Healthcare category.

The Trust’s Chief Executive, Dame Jacqueline Docherty, commented: “We don’t celebrate our successes enough and this (event) was a great opportunity to take stock and realise how much we have achieved in the past year.

“Staff are the lifeblood of any successful organisation and we have an abundance of people here who regularly go above and beyond what is expected of them.

“We tend to associate healthcare with clinical staff but there is a large army of people behind the scenes making sure things run smoothly, such as our volunteers, porters, domestics, waste management and catering.”