Celebrating a successful year for the Vanilla family

Thanks to all who attended our annual Christmas party, which this year was held at the prestigious Thorpe Park Hotel in Leeds on Saturday, December 2.

“I was really grateful so many employees and their partners took the time and trouble to attend our annual dinner and I sincerely hope they had as good a time as I did,” said Jason Belcher.

“Everyone works so hard to make Vanilla Solutions the company it is, so it’s right that we take the opportunity every now and again to celebrate our success and thank people properly for their contributions. But Andy and I also recognise that the commitment of our loyal team can keep them away from home for long hours – so it’s equally important that partners can celebrate with us. Our party is a way of saying thank you to them too,” he added.

Four Vanilla employees in particular enjoyed a great night, having won categories in the company’s inaugural Vanilla Awards.

Senior consultant Paul Darwin raised a loud cheer when it was announced he’d scooped the Road Warrior Award for most miles travelled during the year, while project manager Kieran Garry walked away with the Most Valuable Employee award for achieving the most billable hours.

The next two awards went to one person – technical consultant Mike Hollifield. Not only did Leeds-based Mike win the Employees’ Employee of the Year, as voted by employees, but he also won Employee of the Year as voted by management.

“Winning the double was a fantastic achievement by Mike and richly deserved,” said Jason.

Last, but certainly not least, was the Best Newcomer of the Year award, which went to Lloyd Briggs who works in Vanilla’s new TaSC in Newcastle. Lloyd, a support analyst at the TaSC, only joined the company in July, but has made a great first impression.

As well as announcing the awards, Andy also announced a donation of £5,000 to the Hands Around the World charity. Jane Powell, partner of Vanilla consultant James Powell, gave an introduction to the charity and its work. Hands Around the World supports 2,500 vulnerable children in seven different countries; ensuring they are clothed and fed, have a home and are receiving an education.

“The company is doing well so it’s great to be able to support such a worthy cause, particularly at this time of year,” explained Jason.

“It was a great night, the right way to celebrate a good year for us and for the Vanilla family to come together as one – we’d certainly annexed the dance floor by the end of the evening,” he added.