The Rail Person of the Year award celebrates the success of the rail industry’s most extraordinary individuals. Nominations are all about people who have overcome adversity in their jobs, in their lives, and in helping other people.
Matchtech & Resourcing Solutions once again sponsored the category at this year’s awards. The two companies joined forces in 2017 to become one of the largest rail recruiters in the UK. Its complementary offering ensures excellent coverage across both design and site works, with Matchtech focusing on professional services experts and Resourcing Solutions specialising in site-based project delivery talent. Understanding the value of exceptional people, the specialist staffing company is a great fit for the award.
Freightliner’s Amy ‘Bessie’ Matthews was 2022’s winner. Bessie joined Freightliner in August 2021 as a trainee shunt driver and impressed her colleagues immediately. While taking on a new role and all the extensive training that entails, she also jumped at the opportunity to participate in other activities including playing a role in the Freightliner female Train Driver’s forum.
Bessie also takes an active role in promoting career opportunities for women in rail, as well as supporting Samaritans and other rail-related charities. She was the Samaritan’s top fundraiser for Samarathon in 2021 and was a key ambassador for Samaritan’s Christmas Star campaign, featuring in all their campaign promotional material. She has also attracted a wide social media following through Twitter, helping promote and raise awareness of rail as a great career path for women.
“I’m absolutely blown away by this,” said Bessie. “It means more to me than I can explain. I can’t believe the amount of support I’ve received. I’d like to thank Karen Bennett of community Rail, who’s been an absolute rock, Mike Roberts, railway chaplain, and Heather Ward from Freightliner -three incredible people.
“The rail community has needed an event like this for so long. There’s a real buzz in the room, not just because we’re supporting so many people, but because the whole industry is represented here together. The atmosphere is amazing.”
Sarah Bennett, Great Western Railway
Rebecca Vandyke, GTR