Over the past two years, Amazon employees in our UK operations network have been doing exceptional work to deliver for our customers during the pandemic. Many of them have been combining their great work at Amazon with serving their communities through volunteering their time, raising funds and much more.
To recognise and reward our heroes who have helped others, we established an Amazon Stars programme in 2020, calling on our employees to nominate their colleagues who have gone above and beyond for others.
Almost 1,000 nominations were received in the UK this year, with inspiring stories of employees serving colleagues, customers and communities during a time when they were needed more than ever.
Every employee nominated for an Amazon Stars award this year played a key role inside and outside Amazon in helping to deliver for their community, so the judging panel had a tough task picking this year’s winners. However, three winners have now been crowned, each winning a personalised Dream Box prize worth £2,000. Let’s meet them.
Mental health hero
The first winner of a 2021 Amazon Stars award is Aizaz Hussain, an area manager at the Amazon delivery station in Croydon.
In his spare time, Aizaz is a poet and spoken word artist, performing at different venues around the UK.
Aizaz was inspired to get involved in poetry following a period of personal struggle. He now dedicates his time and his art to helping people with mental health struggles and works with different charities locally to volunteer his time.
Find out more about Aizaz’s story.
The next 2021 Amazon Star is Phil Hayden, an associate at the Amazon sortation centre in Haydock.
Phil was nominated for an award for his incredible dedication to the local community, which includes donating blood every four or five weeks for the last 36 years.
He recently made his 663rd donation of plasma and platelets – a truly remarkable achievement.
Phil is also an NHS Volunteer Responder, a role he was inspired to take up during COVID-19 in honour of his elderly parents.
He has also recently signed up for the 2022 Macmillan Hike, a 26 mile walk in Northumbria to raise money for the charity.
Find out more about Phil’s story.
Coaching in the community
Our final Amazon Star of 2021 is Richard Burtenshaw, a COVID-19 team lead at Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Durham. Richard was nominated for the award by his colleagues for his work with a community football team in the north east called Shincliffe Juniors. Richard’s son plays for Shincliffe’s junior side.
During lockdown, the boys at the club weren’t allowed to train due to COVID-19 guidelines, so Richard devised a series of training videos to keep the players active at home.
To help engage them in their new virtual training routines and to keep spirits up, Richard dressed as different superheroes in the videos, encouraging the boys to stay active and practice their skills.
Richard’s innovative coaching methods saw the club grow from one team to three, increasing the number of young players involved in sport across the community.
Find out more about Richard’s story.
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