Amazon employees in our operations network go above and beyond to deliver for our customers every day, but many also support their local communities by volunteering their time, fundraising for those in need, and so much more.
To recognise and reward these heroes who have helped others, we established the Amazon Stars programme in 2020, calling on employees to nominate colleagues who have gone the extra mile for their local communities. Thousands of nominations are received each year, with inspiring stories of Amazon employees serving colleagues, customers, and communities.
Amazon Stars are selected and recognised by their teams. This year’s winners received a personalised “Dream Box” prize to celebrate their kindness and generosity in helping others. In addition, a £2,000 donation was made on their behalf to their preferred charities.
Meet the two winners of this year’s Amazon Stars.
Volunteering with orangutans in Borneo
Ann Towse, from Lincoln, works at Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Wakefield as an Interim Area Manager. She was nominated by her colleagues to recognise the work she does to support the charity Orangutan Appeal UK, which operates hand-in-hand with Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Borneo, dedicated to the rehabilitation and preservation of orangutans.
While on a sabbatical earlier this year, Ann took up the position of Liaison Officer for Orangutan Appeal UK for a second time, having previously held the post in 2017.
Collectively, during her six months as Liaison Officer, Ann raised almost £50,000 for the charity and played a role in over 900 orangutan adoptions.
Speaking about her experience with the charity, Ann said: “Being a Liaison Officer for Orangutan Appeal UK has been a great privilege. It involves no hands-on contact with the orangutans, as this can be dangerous for them and us, but instead focuses on promoting awareness of the orangutan plight by engaging with and educating visitors at Sepilok. I’m honoured to have played a vital part in seeing orangutans adopted by people all over the world.”
Dedicating time to charitable activities
Former Royal Navy Officer, Dan Marsden from Wirral won our second and final Amazon Star award for 2023.
Alongside his job at Amazon as a Reliability and Maintenance Engineering Technician in Warrington, Dan devotes much of his time to fundraising for several charities, particularly for baby loss charity Tommy’s. This charity conducts research into miscarriage, stillbirth, and premature birth, to support babies and families.
Explaining his passion for the charity’s work, Dan said: “Unfortunately, my wife and I have struggled to conceive. When I left the Royal Navy, we got pregnant for the first time, and sadly the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. I joined Amazon shortly after that and I wanted to do something to help other people who are in the same situation.”
One of Dan’s first fundraising activities was a 24-hour gaming stream where he and his friend raised £3,000. The money raised went to Tommy’s and Sands, two charities which conduct research into miscarriage prevention.
Dan’s fundraising didn’t stop with the 24-hour gaming stream. The following year, he and his friend took on the Wirral Coastal walk before embarking on another 24-hour gaming stream, raising £1,850 for Tommy’s. In 2022, they climbed Mount Snowdon in Wales and raised £750 for local charities including The Clatterbridge Cancer Trust and The Trussell Trust. This year, Dan and his friends did the three-peak challenge, which involves climbing the highest peaks in England, Scotland and Wales, raising another £2,000 for Tommy’s.