People's Choice Award

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sponsored by: City Taxis

Born in Sheffield 40 years ago, City Taxis history is woven into the fabric of the city. With two thousand drivers completing around 150,000 jobs per week, City are the second largest Private Hire company outside London, moving the people of Sheffield, Chesterfield, Barnsley, Rotherham and Derby. City’s recent brand refresh encompasses new strategies and exciting products for 2020, including the launch of City Grab, City Electric and City Charity, with a brand new website showcasing all areas of the business visit

City Grab: January 2020 saw the launch of City’s delivery service, City Grab – Sheffield’s local multi-platform delivery app launching with a food offering. With 20 local restaurants live on the platform, the people of Sheffield can now have their favourite foods delivered to their door, faster and further. Later in the year, the service will extend to delivery of products, drinks, flowers and shopping.

City Electric: In December 2019, City Taxis unveiled ambitious plans to deliver an all-electric fleet by 2025 to try & give the best option to their drivers in view of the imminent Clean Air Zone. Following an EV pilot with ten drivers, City have identified a lack of charging infrastructure in Sheffield, so have teamed up with iCabbi and Nissan-Renault to propose unique new charging hubs. The hubs aim to provide a more engaging charging experience for taxi drivers and the public, who can use the station to take a break, enjoy refreshments and use the wifi.

City Charity: The launch of the Charity Incubator aims to support City’s chosen charity of the year by providing 12 months of financial burden-free office space and dedicating internal resources. The chosen charity for 2020 are Mums in Need, a Sheffield-based emotional abuse charity.


Six exceptional candidates have been nominated for the People’s Choice Award by hospitality managers across the region, based on their hard work, dedication and passion for the job.  We’re asking you to pick a winner for the People’s Choice Award by voting via the SCR Hospitality Association website.  A vote for the People’s Choice is the chance for you say who you think deserves to win this prestigious award that celebrates the cream of the crop in the hospitality industry.

Leah’s journey with Jurys Inn began in 2016 when she started as a receptionist at Hinckley Island.  Bitten by the hospitality bug she joined the Jurys Inn Graduate scheme in 2018 which allows participants to undertake three placements across different hotels in the group, gain experience in different roles, and graduate after two years with the skills required to become a Head of Department. During one of her placements, Leah had to unfortunately deal with a guest overdosing. This taught Leah some valuable lessons in handling every situation possible.

Starting at Jurys Inn Sheffield in May 2019, Leah took on a project to refurbish the conference centre on a very small budget.  She successfully improved the look and feel of this area of the Hotel.  In September 2019, Leah became Front Office Manager and is the first in her Graduate programme to become a head of department, a fantastic accolade.

Since being in role, Leah’s team has doubled and she is concentrating on their training and development.  As a newly appointed head of department she is learning about HR, reviews, budgets and sales targets and whilst it is challenging, she is doing exceptionally well.  We’re really proud of Leah’s achievements – she’s a worthy nominee for the People’s Choice Award.

Sue has worked in hospitality for over 20 years, 10 of which at the Doubletree where she started out as Head Housekeeper in 2009, creating a loyal and hardworking team that was recognised as runner- up in the 2011 awards.

In 2014 Sue’s health began to fail and the normally energetic powerhouse began to feel tired and experienced problems with balance and stability. Eventually Sue was diagnosed with a brain tumour and had to undergo emergency life-saving surgery.  As part of a long and frustrating journey back to full health she turned to writing a book about her experiences, entitled, “My Crazy Cell Mate.” It was published last year, and Sue donates all profits to a brain injury rehabilitation charity.

We are proud to have Sue as part of our breakfast team. She has made a positive impact on everyone at the hotel, with her optimistic personality and genuine good nature. She brightens up everybody’s day, both colleagues and guests, constantly smiling and chatting to anyone that walks through our restaurant door. She is a great example of how you can suffer adversity, pick yourself back up again and still have the capacity to make other people happy. Sue is an example to us all, she really is a superstar!

Anna started with Kenwood Hall as a casual Conference and Banqueting Assistant in June 2018.  Within 5 months, it was clear that Anna was a great credit to the hotel and was promoted to Assistant Conference and Banqueting Manager where she took the reins and, with the support of her manager, saw the Conference and Banqueting department through an amazing wedding season.

Anna’s hard work and dedication to her team, her job and the hotel is evident in all she does. Her guest feedback is brilliant, as she always puts their needs first. Her positive energy is apparent throughout the whole hotel and she always has a smile for whoever she meets. She has overcome some personal difficulties this year but that hasn’t stopped her from shining in her role and she never let it affect her work or her commitment.

She goes over and above making sure a meeting or event is extra special and she gets a real kick from making someone’s wedding as special as she can, attending to the finer details. Anna is a dedicated employee who goes out of her way to help customers and colleagues alike and we treasure her positive attitude that keeps the whole team upbeat.   

Joining the Leopold in Housekeeping when the hotel had only recently opened, Jennifer has become a vital cog in the machine and hasn’t looked back since.  Jennifer said: “I can remember feeling excited and privileged to be working in a posh 4-star hotel. I remember being on the tram going to work with a smile on my face and actually looking forward to going to work.” Friendly and approachable, Jennifer is always seen with a smile on her face and is the one everyone calls upon when they need a lift.

What Jennifer enjoys the most about her job is meeting lovely guests and stopping for a chat about their stay.  She also loves a wedding, as there is such a buzz about the place and seeing the beautiful brides, nervous grooms and the wedding guests all dressed up in their new outfits – really makes you feel like part of their special day.

Now 64, Jennifer is getting ready for retirement and looking forward to spending more time with husband Steve, Murphy the dog and her wonderful grandchildren. She knows that when the time comes to say to her Leopold family she will be heartbroken about not seeing them all again.

Robert marked his 15th anniversary at Novotel Sheffield in 2019.  Starting in 2004 as a team member he was soon promoted to Conference Team Leader, and then F&B Team Leader before being promoted to Assistant Restaurant & Bar Manager four years ago. 

Over the past eight years he has built and maintained relationships with several hospitality schools in France and helped French students complete work placements at our hotel across different departments.  To date he has helped over 60 students gain valuable experience in the hospitality industry, and many have gone on to forge successful careers. Closer to home, Robert has developed a network of Hospitality students in Sheffield and held an annual event over the last four years where approximately 60 local students attend the hotel for a meal, Q&A session, games and competitions. 

His capacity to help others knows no bounds and, during chemotherapy, Robert continued to fulfil his duties, support his team and arrange placements for students to train and develop their skills.  Now in remission, he is a Genomes Project volunteer donating his DNA and blood for research into genetics and the causes of rare disease and cancer.  We are enormously proud of Robert and know he’s a worthy winner of the People’s Choice Award.

The words that come to mind when you think of Jess are ‘warm, friendly, dedicated and reliable.’ Put simply, Jess makes every Bride and Groom feel as if their wedding day is the most important day of her year.   

Nothing is too much trouble and her patience and listening skills are so well suited to the job she does. Jess takes the time to work out exactly what is important to the happy couple so that the hotel can deliver the whole wedding experience. Jess promotes the needs and wishes of the Bride and Groom to every department in the hotel and she is always there on the big day making sure everything is perfect and calming any last-minute nerves with her quiet confidence.

Genuinely interested, Jess remembers things about the Bride, the Groom and their families and we receive numerous compliments, reviews and thank you letters about Jess and the fantastic job she does.  Jess is a lovely colleague, happy to lend a hand in other departments with her calm manner and ready sense of humour.  Hundreds of families have lovely memories of a fabulous wedding due to her commitment to making them happy. She’s a great candidate for the People’s Choice award.

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