Ex-Soldier Swapped Barracks for Bins

Former Soldier in Amey’s Waste Collections Services Reaches Finals of National Business Women’s Award

Nicola Blake, account director for Amey’s Waste Collections Services Team in Surrey, will join illustrious businesswomen from across the UK after being named as a finalist for the National Business Women’s Awards 2020.


Nicola Blake (left), surrounded by ‘thank you’ letters from the Surrey community for her team’s effort during the Covid-19 crisis, will find out if she’s a national award winner in November.

Nicola Blake, account director for Amey’s Waste Collections Services Team in Surrey, will join illustrious businesswomen from across the UK after being named as a finalist for the National Business Women’s Awards 2020. 

Blake will now go head to head with three other finalists shortlisted for the coveted Social Impact Award.

Having carried out two tours of Afghanistan before swapping barracks for bins and joining Amey in 2018, Blake made the shortlist following a series of social value campaigns led by Amey and implemented to help people of all ages throughout the county.

The initiatives that captured the imagination of the judging panel include helping 1500 Surrey schoolchildren become ‘Junior Citizens’ through a series of waste and recycling workshops, voluntarily supporting ex-military personnel in achieving their career potential upon leaving the army, and the creation of Amey’s Covid-19 response team, which saw waste collection teams deliver critical supplies and medication to vulnerable people during lockdown.

Blake represents one of 79 UK businesses shortlisted for 18 categories including Business Woman of the Year, Influential Business Woman of the Year and International Women’s Award. She will find out if she’s won the accolade at the national awards ceremony, which takes place at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington, London, on Friday 20 November.

“I’m delighted with the news and proud to work for an organisation that places as much importance on social value as it does on service delivery,” said Blake.

“My current role enables me to make a difference to the lives of people who work on the contract, the residents who benefit from our service and the environment. Having this much freedom to invest in the wider society drives me forward and through Amey’s Social Value Plan there is so much that can be achieved in the region,” she continued. “I’m thrilled that myself and my team have been recognised and I now have my fingers crossed for November.”

National Business Women’s Awards Director, Damian Cummins, adds: “We are overwhelmed by the sheer number and quality of entries from across the UK and look forward to a fabulous evening celebrating their achievements. We’ll certainly be ready for some positive news by then.”

Blake and her team are currently exploring partnership opportunities with Dorking Refugee Support, with the aim of bringing Surrey refugees into Amey’s employment, and work placement and training schemes with Send Prison.

Amey, launched its Social Value Plan in 2020 – committing action to invest in people, support suppliers, achieve net zero and transform local communities. The plan supports action to support those facing barriers into employment, and especially those from the Armed Forces community.

Amey is a signatory to the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant and achieved Gold status for the Defence Employee Recognition Scheme in 2018.

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