The stars were out in force last night as they took to the red carpet for the University of Birmingham's equivalent to the BAFTAs - the BUAFTAs.

More than 350 university staff packed in to Birmingham's Great Hall for the BUAFTA (Birmingham University Awards for Tremendous Achievement) gala awards ceremony, which was compered by Birmingham journalist Nick Owen. 

The BUAFTAs recognise staff in the University’s Corporate Services departments who make an outstanding contribution.  The awards are ‘by staff, for staff’, enabling colleagues to nominate those who they feel go the extra mile in their jobs.  More than 400 nominations were put before an independent external judging panel, who narrowed the field to 53 across the 11 awards, including Best Customer Service, Best Contribution to the Environment, Best Newcomer and Team of the Year.

The winners included Sheila McDougall, Library Services Information Assistant, who was honoured for her Lifetime Achievement in devoting 35 years of dedicated and outstanding service to the University.  Sheila began work in the University’s Law Library in Edmund Street in 1960 before moving to the ‘new’ campus that summer where she helped establish the Harding Law Library.  She is universally known as a loyal, supportive and popular member of staff. 

Gill Ball, Acting Registrar and Secretary of the University, said: "We are delighted with the success of last night's BUAFTAs. I would like to congratulate all of our winners on their achievement and for showing us why they really are true A-listers.  I'd also like to toast everyone who was nominated. They can be proud to know they have inspired the respect and admiration of their colleagues.

"The response to the BUAFTAs has been overwhelming.  I would like to thank everyone who played a part in the awards for helping to make this a truly memorable event and for giving the finalists a chance to shine." 

The event also featured a charity raffle with a top prize of £1,000, donated by sponsors. All proceeds will go to Birmingham St Mary's Hospice, which cares for more than 1,000 people each year suffering from life-limiting illnesses.


Media information: Anna Dingley, Press Officer, University of Birmingham

Tel: 0121 415 8134 / email

Notes to Editor:

The 2008 Corporate Services BUAFTA winners:

Best Contribution to the Environment

Donna Harris, Corporate Relations   

Best Customer Service  

Ann Dunbar, Academic & Student Administration 

Best Newcomer

Phil Toland, Hospitality & Accommodation Services 

Idea of the Year

Grand Prix Squash Event 

Lifetime Achievement    

Sheila McDougall, Library Services 

Manager of the Year 

Lesley Stewart, Hospitality & Accommodation Services 

Outstanding Contribution of the Year 

Mark Cooper, IT Services 

Project of the Year

Claire O'Sullivan, DARO 

Team of the Year

Aston Webb Reception 

Team Player of the Year

Lesley Driscoll, Human Resources    

Vision and Values Award

Richard Shortland, Finance 

Sponsor information

The University of Birmingham is grateful for the support of the following organisations who sponsored the BUAFTAs:

Platinum sponsor: Gresham Office Furniture

Gold sponsors:

  • Associated Architects
  • Couch Perry & Wilkes Partnership
  • Faithful & Gould
  • GV Multi-Media
  • Interserve
  • Martineau Johnson
  • Office Depot
  • Oyster Communications
  • Prolinx IT Services
  • Robinson Low Francis LLP (RLF)
  • Shaylor Construction
  • Silver sponsor: Barnsley Bate
  • Charity raffle sponsors:
  • Principal sponsor: Océ
  • Cadbury
  • Delta Travel
  • Oyster
  • Shaylor Construction