Power workers have been recognised by their company at an awards presentation after completing four decades of continuous service.
This year, 40 UK Power Networks staff across the south east marked their 40th anniversary in the business and chief executive Basil Scarsella presented awards at a special celebration to thank them for their service.
Hazel Windeatt from Rustington, Debra Churcher from Worthing and Mike Dunbar, also from Worthing, joined the company in 1978 and have seen their roles change over the years to keep up with technology and a growing business.
Hazel, 58, is a team leader in the accounts department. She said: “It’s our job to make sure our suppliers get paid. The work is much more professional today, we are constantly striving to be more efficient.
“When I joined accounts it was all paper-based and we used washing up bowls to split the pile of invoices alphabetically. I have always enjoyed the job, because you can see it through from start to finish.”
Debra,57, has just retired as a supervisor in accounts, having worked with Hazel for 40 years.
She joined what was Seeboard, before desktop computers, and her role involved entering data into a mainframe computer.
Today, the team she worked for processes thousands of invoices each month and arranges payments for the company’s contractors and suppliers.
Debra said: “Computer technology has helped. In the old days everything was typed up by secretaries using Dictaphones. It is far less labour-intensive and much more professional today.
“I have mentored a lot of colleagues over the years, helping them to develop their careers inside and outside the department and I gained a lot of satisfaction from seeing my colleagues progress.
“The people I worked with made the job for me because they were long-standing colleagues. We are like a family unit, we help each other out and look out for each other.”
Mike Dunbar, 57, is a transport administrator who helps keep a fleet of more than 3,500 vehicles on the road.
He joined the computer centre and spent his early career entering documents into a mainframe computer, then moved into the in-house printing department, before computers, printing forms used by the company.
During privatisation in 1990 the team had to reprint every form the company used as it went from being South Eastern Electricity Board to Seeboard. It was a massive job, involving two to three months of 16-hour days, seven days a week.
Mike went from the print unit to work in the transport team. He said: “My role is planning the maintenance of the vehicles. The company couldn’t function without its transport fleet which makes our department one of the important cogs in a big wheel.
“I have enjoyed the work over the years and my different roles. The people here make the job, they have made it great fun.”
Mr Scarsella said: “It’s incredibly important to recognise and celebrate the dedication and expertise of our employees, especially those who have served our customers and communities for a long time.
“As an employer of choice we are always looking for ways to improve and I think some of the best ideas often come from our most experienced staff.”
To find out more about careers at UK Power Networks visit www.ukpowernetworkscareers.co.uk/careers