Helen Wheller, principal communications and engagement manager, and (right) Wendy Perera, assistant chief executive and director of strategy.


The Isle of Wight has been recognised as a national leader in transformation and partnership with 2 Institution of Excellence in Public Services (iESE) Transformation Awards for its work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Island response to coronavirus was awarded a silver award in the Community Focus category for the ‘Community Response Service’ that was set up rapidly at the beginning of the crisis to support Islanders. The team of council staff, partners and incredible volunteers worked out of 27 local hubs to deliver food parcels and medicines to Islanders who were shielding, provide valuable support to those who were self-isolating, such as dog walking, and offer a COVID-helpline for anyone needing support, a friendly voice or someone to talk to.

Meanwhile, the role played not only by the council but by countless partners and individuals in supporting the government trial of the COVID-19 appV1 in May/June 2020, was recognised with a bronze award for communications.

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Working with government departments, and led on the ground by the council’s communications and engagement team, the rollout of the first phase of the COVID-19 test and trace app sought to maximise local engagement. More than 50% of the Island’s adult community downloaded the app, offering valuable feedback to the developers for further updates and national rollout.

Where the Isle of Wight led, Britain did, indeed, follow.

Ian Lloyd, strategic manager – partnerships and support services, adult social care, and Elaine Sharkey, transformation and business improvement manager.

Council leader, Councillor Lora Peacey-Wilcox, said:

“Both awards are absolute testament to the innovation and creativity of our staff and the strength and benefits of working closely in partnership with our communities — the mainstay of the Islands existence.

“This is very much a key focus of the way in which the Alliance administration intends to work, both now and throughout the lifetime of this council.

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“My absolute, sincere thanks to each and every individual across our Island that made that possible. I’m hoping that this will be a springboard from which we can learn for the future and grow. Well done everyone — very much deserved.”

This year iESE celebrated 12 years of the Public Sector Transformation Awards and received hundreds of nominations from local authorities across the UK.

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