Local government workers are there for us, through every stage of our lives. We cannot live our lives without them. But they are often forgotten. On 17 October we will have the opportunity to say thank you.
We spoke to Diane Peacock to find out what Sunderland are doing to get ready for Local Service Champions Day.
“We’ve decided to highlight the hidden heroes of Sunderland Council. The people who look after the public without them realising it.” Diane, the branch secretary at City of Sunderland, explains.
“When we do pay negotiations we often highlight the frontline staff, the social workers, refuse workers – people like that. But Local Service Champions Day is going to be all about the hidden heroes.
“I’ve got the council’s chief exec on board. He’s getting his directors to nominate team’s that do work that is crucial but hidden from the public. He’s said he wants this to be a priority.
“I got him on board with the campaign, because his ‘Vision 2030’ is all about challenging the perception that council workers are lazy. He wants to get the public on side. And that’s what the local champions campaign is all about.”
The Local Service Champions campaign highlights the invaluable contribution of local government workers. A UK-wide celebration day on October 17 will provide an opportunity for us all to consider the vital role these unsung heroes play in our lives.
“We’re getting free advertising space in 15 bus stops throughout the city and they’ve given us a reduced rate on a massive digital board as you drive into Sunderland. We’ve also hired an ad-van and later we’ll have an awards ceremony.
“There has been such a positive reaction to the campaign because I think it’s time for local government workers to shine. It really annoys us that local government workers have been absolutely squeezed with budgets. They’re just at the bottom.
“But we’ve gone round and got people involved. We’ve got lots of young, fresh faced people who are so enthusiastic.
“It was so lovely last week because you could see the smiles on everyone’s faces. They could see they were being appreciated. They’re totally on board.
“We just want to make an absolute fuss of them.”
Thank your champion
You can help to get ready to celebrate in a few simple ways. It can be your way to say thanks:
1.Find out more about the campaign.
2. Encourage your friends and family to consider the role local government workers play in their lives. And let them know they can say thanks on October 17. Click below to post our film and key information online:
3. Print this poster and put it up in your workplace. Simples.
And watch out for **exciting new announcements** on October 17!