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The Chairman of Christie Intruder Alarms Ltd, Barrie Christie, was presented with the Don Allen Award for Employer of the Year in Support of Education by The Chairman of Hampshire County Council, Councillor John West, at the County Council Offices in Winchester recently.
This award is the legacy of the late Don Allen, the then Councillor for Education, who wanted to publicly acknowledge the valuable contribution companies make by allowing their employees time off during the working week to fulfil their duties as Governors at local schools.
CIA was nominated by Peter Emmonds, their Quality Assurance/Health & Safety Manager to thank the company for their support.
Pete has been a Governor of Riders School in Havant for 4 years now. He applied after reading an article appealing for Governors and thought it would be a great way to give something back to the local community and make a positive contribution to shaping the future.
Although CIA have no formal agreement about supporting staff in voluntary roles, Barrie Christie says “What we do is look at what people give of their own time and add a bit to support that. It’s all by negotiation with the Line Manager and in Pete’s case, this is a worthy cause. After all, our future is in the youth of today”
Pete’s experience as Bursar of a large Secondary Modern school in London prior to joining CIA made him the ideal person to Chair the Finance and Personnel Committee at Riders, and he worked with the School Leadership Team to develop the 3 year plan which sets targets to improve school’s performance.
“It’s a real success story for both CIA and the school,” says Pete.“It raises the company’s profile and it actually motivates staff. They’re happy to know the company is supporting the local community.
“And the school is going from strength to strength. From being at the bottom of the league tables in Hampshire, we are now in the top third. The latest SAT results have been the best we’ve ever achieved - for the first time, we are above the national average.”
Peter says being a Governor is great and he would recommend it to anyone. He gives between 2 to 8 hours a week of his time to the school, mainly in the evenings and at weekends. Although he doesn’t get paid, he says the greatest reward is seeing the school move forward and the pupils succeed.
CIA also funds the Christie Achievement Awards for Excellence at Riders. This ground-breaking formal partnership between commerce and a Junior School enables the school to reward pupils with prizes for achievement at the end of each term. The 16 lucky high achievers in the summer term are treated to a helicopter ride.
To find out more about becoming a School Governor, visit Hampshire County Council’s website www.hants.gov.uk/education/governors or phone 01962 845846. Anyone with life skills who is willing to offer time and commitment can apply.