08 April 2005
'It has been a real springboard for us in getting recognised. It has been fantastic and it still goes on.'
Dave Crawford, the manager of Dartmoor Prison's Resettlement Assessment Centre, has been a happy man since his unit picked up the top team prize in last year's Public Servants of the Year Awards. The centre has been visited by the prisons' minister and found itself constantly in demand for advice from other jails.
They have been keen to discover how Dartmoor has transformed its reputation from a prison facing privatisation to a haven of best practice.
This remarkable performance was recognised when the resettlement centre picked up the Outstanding Team of the Year Award at last year's ceremony.
Team categories were introduced to the Public Servants of the Year Awards for the first time in 2004 and have quickly become an established part of the structure. This year's ceremony, taking place in two weeks' time, will include six team categories plus the overall winner.
While the team winners will undoubtedly act as role models for their colleagues throughout the public sector, all this year's team finalists have inspiring stories to tell. Their work covers local government, central government, education, housing, health and uniformed services.
Public Finance is delighted that Unison has again agreed to sponsor the Outstanding Team of the Year Award. We are also grateful for the continuing support from our partners CIPFA, the Cabinet Office and the Office of Government Commerce.
The awards ceremony will be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Thursday, April 21. Details of the winners and the ceremony will be included in our issues of April 22 and April 29.
I am delighted and proud that Unison, one of the largest trade unions in Europe, is again sponsoring the overall team award at the Public Servants of the Year Awards 2005.
Our union is built on a principle of collective strength, organising members in our public services health, local government, the voluntary sector, the police service, education and the utilities. Our members are also consumers of these services, and that means we understand the problems of delivering quality public services, available to all, better than most. Helping disadvantaged groups gain access to those services is essential. Creative solutions and determination to overcome obstacles are a prerequisite, as is a passion for public services generally.
Unison's traditions and aims also recognise and appreciate the efforts of dedicated work groups, and what they can and do achieve together, and applauds the recognition given to teams through this award.
Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary