Magazine article Public Finance

Raising the Standard: The Frontline Worker Award

Magazine article Public Finance

Raising the Standard: The Frontline Worker Award

Article excerpt

What does it take to make an outstanding frontline public servant? It's a question asked less often in these days of spreadsheet-driven public management, with its focus on raising the efficiency of back-office functions.

But For the users of public sector organisations, the quality of service they receive from frontline employees is what makes the difference between a mediocre, good or outstanding experience.

Whether it is the social worker going that extra mile fora vulnerable family, or the nurse taking time to talk to a confused patient, the actions of dedicated frontline staff empower tens of thousands of service users every day.

One such employee is Anthony Vanterpool, a personal adviser and key worker for Connexions Lancashire. 'Swifty', as everyone calls him, won last year's frontline worker award - as well as the Outstanding Public Servant of the Year award - for his extraordinary work with vulnerable young people in Skelmersdale.

In an area with significant social problems, Swifty has developed an outstanding rapport with youngsters on the verge of homelessness, or of becoming involved in crime or drugs. His own life experiences have helped him engage with young people who have been marginalised by society - he was once told by a teacher that he'd never amount to anything because he came from Manchester's Moss Side. …

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