Medal (BEM) in the New Year Honours List.
Chico Coulibaly, SWR’s Regional Manager based at Waterloo and Sam Camfield, Design Manager, have received their awards for their work during Operation London Bridge. SWR is delighted that their part in such a huge national event has been recognised by His Majesty.
The scope of work undertaken by the various teams across SWR to deliver the company’s response to Operation London Bridge in the days following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II cannot be understated. There was much cross-team working to plan and execute a response that saw many thousands of extra passengers making their way to and from London and Windsor.
As Regional Manager at Waterloo, Chico Coulibaly was a major part of the organisational structure for Operation London Bridge. Working with Network Rail and management teams, Chico helped to ensure that Waterloo would be a safe and welcoming environment for the many thousands who would be making their way into the capital, for the Lying-in-State and the State Funeral.
He went above and beyond the call of duty, working many night shifts to ensure that customers and colleagues were supported throughout this momentous time.
Chico was part of a team which developed the Waterloo Event plan to make sure that all possible eventualities which might occur in the days up to and including the funeral had been planned for.
On the day of the funeral itself, a major power failure led to the closure of the Paddington – Reading line, resulting in thousands of additional customers being diverted to SWR’s services from Reading to Waterloo. This unexpected influx of people had to be safely managed and passed through the station to their final destinations and this huge task was overseen by Chico.
“I feel truly privileged and incredibly humbled to be recognised by His Majesty the King in the New Year Honours List. I would especially like to thank the teams who have worked alongside me (NR/SWR), because without such great people, many of these achievements would not have been possible. It was a very big team who worked exceptionally hard to ensure that Waterloo was prepared to welcome all the thousands of people who came to pay their respects to Her Majesty, and they are all to be congratulated as well.”
Sam Camfield is SWR’s Design Manager and, with the members of the Marketing Team, was responsible for developing the entire visual suite of materials displayed across all SWR channels. What people would see when they visited the SWR website and social media platforms or arrived at SWR stations during that momentous period in the UK’s history was very important and as Design Manager, Sam was responsible for ensuring that the visual impact of all SWR channels, digital platforms and stations was respectful and honoured the late Queen.
This was a very important task, as the images that members of the public saw would help to define their opinion of the way that SWR had responded to such a difficult and nation-defining period. With so little time available, Sam often worked late into the night to meet tight deadlines and ensure that printing and distribution was achieved in time for all materials to be in place when needed.
There was a particular focus needed for Windsor & Eton Riverside station, which was ‘dressed’ specifically for the occasion with individual assets such as special banners to go on the railings alongside the platforms, hiding the car park from view, and special hoardings which improved the view for passengers waiting to get into and out of the station.
The way that Windsor & Eton Riverside station was decorated received particular praise from stakeholders and special thanks for this must go to both Sam and colleagues based at the station.
“I am delighted to have been nominated in the New Year Honours list for my part in making sure that South Western Railway’s stations honoured Her Majesty and for dressing Windsor and Eton Riverside station for the State Funeral. It was a major team effort, and everybody involved should be proud of themselves.”
Claire Mann, SWR’s Managing Director, added:
“Our response to the death of Her Late Majesty The Queen was truly a team effort, and I’m really proud of the way SWR colleagues pulled together to both honour her memory, and deliver for our customers, at such a momentous period in our nation’s history.
“I’m delighted that the hard work of Chico and Sam in helping us to deliver our response has been recognised by His Majesty in the 2024 New Year Honours List. I would like to congratulate them on their British Empire Medals on behalf of everyone here at South Western Railway.”
Image credit: SWR