First Wessex supervisor awarded British Empire Medal in Queen’s Birthday Honours List
A Weymouth supervisor working for bus operator First Wessex has been named in the Queen’s delayed birthday honours list. Aaron Sparks’ award forms part of a “bumper" list that also featured medical staff, volunteers and key workers for their efforts combating the virus and its effects.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Aaron Sparks was instrumental in ensuring that safe and reliable transport services continued for key workers, especially those working at Dorset County Hospital. Working closely with the hospital, he was able to provide the right transport links at the right times for key workers – ensuring services and timetables were supportive of hospital shift patterns and that NHS workers were able to get to and from work without any inconvenience. He also made sure a large number of last-minute timetable changes were implemented flawlessly.
When I received a letter saying I would be on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, it didn’t really sink in because it is so exceptional; I don’t know anyone who’s received an honour. I am really chuffed about it, but the credit for this award really goes to everyone at First Wessex. The response to the pandemic is a team effort, and everyone worked their socks off to make sure services kept running to help those who really needed them.
Marc Reddy, managing director for First Wessex paid tribute to Aaron’s hard work:
Aaron has gone above and beyond in extraordinary circumstances. From mid-March, First Wessex implemented no less than 13 pandemic-related schedule changes across its Dorset network – an unprecedented figure within such a short timescale. In normal circumstances, a major timetable change such as this would take weeks of preplanning, followed by a two-week rollout period. Aaron pulled out all the stops to ensure these last-minute changes were done properly and make sure everyone, be it staff, the hospital, and customers had the latest timetables; he went out of his way, even changing the customer information at bus stops himself.
We have a great, highly motivated team in Weymouth who are passionate about what they do, and everyone is really pleased for Aaron.
Aaron has worked for bus operator First Wessex for 17 years. He started out as a driver in Weymouth before being promoted to the position of controller, and more recently took on the position of performance supervisor for both Weymouth and Bridport depots.
Aaron will receive his British Empire Medal from Angus Campbell, the Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset at a local ceremony at a later date.