Hull-born Louise Mendham, the company’s Service Delivery Director, was triumphant at last night’s National Rail Awards – dubbed the ‘Railway Oscars’ – winning the Outstanding Personal Contribution Award (Management) for her selfless dedication and leadership in steering the business through the extreme challenges of lockdowns and re-mobilising it after a period of hibernation.
Judges were unanimous that Louise had gone above and beyond what was expected of her usual duties, with her leadership and tenacity making a lasting difference to colleagues and passengers of Hull Trains.
Hull Trains, an open access rail operator part of FirstGroup, had been shortlisted in not one, but three categories at the National Rail Awards, with the business also impressing judges in the
Outstanding Teamwork and Fleet Achievement Award categories.
The award-winner first joined Hull Trains in 2004, starting as a frontline member of the planning team before rising through the ranks to become Service Delivery Director earlier this month. She was credited for inspiring the entire workforce with dedication, vision and ability to steer teams through one of the most challenging periods in the company’s history.
Louise Mendham said: “Whilst this is labelled as a personal award, it is very much a collaborative effort and none of this would be possible without the dedication and commitment of every member of staff at Hull Trains, on the frontline and in the office. This is a testament to their continued desire to deliver excellence in customer service.
“I also recognise it has been a testing time for our passengers, but I would like to thank the community of Hull and East Yorkshire which has been unwavering in its support for our business. Our customers are what makes the job so special.”
In addition to her strategic and operations leadership credentials, Louise was also credited for playing an active role in helping Hull Trains achieve a 48:52 female-to-male gender ratio, with the company’s 50:50, 64:36 and 82:18 female-to-male ratio in Driver, On-Board Manager and On-Board Host grades considered an industry success.
Martijn Gilbert, Managing Director of Hull Trains, added: “Louise is known by everyone across our company and beyond. She is well respected for her dedication, resilience, and willingness to challenge, and has gone to extraordinary lengths to help get the company on the pathway for a successful recovery following the impact of the pandemic and lockdowns, consistently showing support for the whole team.
“Her selfless and outstanding contribution to the UK rail industry deserves the lasting recognition that this award will bring. I would like to congratulate Louise and the whole team at Hull Trains who supported her in making this possible.”