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Published: August 26, 2011

Security risk management specialist Pilgrims has rewarded its best-performing UK manned guarding employees at an annual awards ceremony which recognises excellence and dedication beyond the call of duty.

The company, which guards the offices and premises for many well-known UK organisations, awards individual operatives and teams for qualities, including the value they add for the customer and for proactive work. The competition is organised in heats, with prizes offered to each region (North, South and London) plus a team award, with regional winners also being eligible for the national award.

Overall winner, Marcin Chojowski, who works for the Pilgrims’ team at JTI, in Weybridge, received the accolade for his constant alertness and instinctive ability to sense when something “isn’t quite right”. From approaching and subsequently reporting a suspicious-looking person on site, who showed him a fake police identity card, to confronting a photocopier engineer making personal copies with the client’s equipment, Marcin’s continual vigilance has been recognised by the client, JTI, who commented on how he had integrated well into the team and exceeded their expectations.

Best team awards (gold and silver, respectively) went to Pilgrims’ operations at Novartis (Speke) and Novartis (Frimley). The Speke team’s accolade followed an operation to foil serious criminality on the client’s site in which covert teams successfully monitored and reported the activities of intruders, leading to an arrest. At Frimley, the Pilgrims’ team was praised for its competence, togetherness and desire to succeed and was even congratulated by the client in Novartis’s internal newsletter, Livewire, with Sue Webb, CPO Head and Country President of Novartis UK, commenting: “The security team at Frimley is a tremendous team and a pleasure to work with.”

Bharpoor Sangha, who works for Pilgrims’ client SunGard, won the London Regional Award and Bronze National Award for his proactive approach, while Martyn Shutt won the Northern Regional Award and National Silver for his ability to add value to SunGard’s business.

Regional Manager of SunGard in the Midlands, Andrew Gardner, confirmed his contribution, praising: “Martyn has been based at SunGard for nearly two years and is an asset to both Pilgrims and SunGard. He is able to deliver the service above and beyond and understands his priorities. His attitude and work ethic is an example to all and is a person who can be relied upon to do the right thing while following process and procedure. We are all pleased for Martyn here at Leicester as this recognition is very well deserved.”

Silver Southern Award winner Nikki Charnley was the awards’ first female winner.

The awards presentation took place at Hoebridge Golf Club, in Woking, following a morning’s golf event where each of the regions played for the Challenge Trophy. There was also a combined regions team, captained by Dave Freear, Pilgrims’ Director of Operations, which took the trophy.

Freear, who presented the Guarding Awards trophies and certificates, praised all of Pilgrims’ teams and winners, commenting: “We are extremely proud of the high level of customer focus and commitment our guarding teams across the country continue to demonstrate. It is because of their dedication that Pilgrims maintains its reputation as one of the leading manned guarding providers in the country. This reputation continues across our operations worldwide and these awards are held to recognise the people that make that happen.”

Pilgrims Security Officer of the Year Award Winners, 2011

National Awards:
Marcin Chojowski - Gold Award
Martyn Shutt - Silver Award
Bharpoor Sangha - Bronze Award

Best Team Awards:
Novartis (Speke) - Gold Award
Novartis (Frimley) - Silver Award
SunGard Paris Garden - Bronze Award

Regional North Awards:
Martyn Shutt - Gold Award
Stephen Cregan - Silver Award
Trevor Mottershaw - Bronze Award

Regional South Awards:
Marcin Chojowski- Gold Award
Nikki Charnley - Silver Award
Ian Butler - Bronze Award

Regional London Awards:
Bharpoor Sangha – Gold Award
Abdul Shaikh – Silver Award
Muhammad Ali – Bronze Award