Inspirational colleagues celebrated at FirstGroup award ceremonies.(First Group)

The contributions of 110,000 FirstGroup employees have been recognised at the company’s annual Be First Awards.

Be First Award Winner David Wells First Bus

(First Group Image)

Held in Manchester and Cincinnati, the award ceremonies celebrated the people and teams who made significant contributions to FirstGroup’s businesses and customers in the last year.

Winners of the awards are people who have made an exceptional effort to deliver the company’s vision, strategy and values in their behaviour and actions.

Hundreds of nominations were received from across FirstGroup’s businesses. A select group of finalists were lauded at the ceremonies for their contributions, in areas such as safety, customer service, community relations and innovation.

Dave Wells, of First West Yorkshire, received the Dedicated to Safety award for implementing an awareness campaign designed to nurture personal connections to workplace safety.

Dave said:

“I was absolutely blown away when my name was called out. I felt an overwhelming sense of pride and achievement that I will treasure for years to come.”


Tim O’Toole, Chief Executive of FirstGroup, said:

“These people reflect our company’s Vision, Strategy and Values in their behaviours and actions. Whether it be a consistent effort to improve performance and deliver great service every single day or a one-off heroic event, they are role models and represent the true strength of the 110,000 people across FirstGroup.

“These awards are for everyone in the company regardless of the role or grade, and highlight the actions taken by our people and the significance of their achievement. The nominations received showed examples of excellence from all levels within our operating divisions and Group functions.”


For each of the 705 nominations received across the group, FirstGroup donated £5 to its UK charity of choice, Prostate Cancer UK.

Angela Culhane, Chief Executive of Prostate Cancer UK, addressed the finalists at the event, saying:

“Huge congratulations to everyone at FirstGroup who won a Be First award, a well-deserved testament to a lot of hard work. Over the last two years, Prostate Cancer UK has been lucky enough to benefit from the support of so many FirstGroup employees who have gone above and beyond to raise funds and awareness of the most common cancer in men. All this team are winners as far as we’re concerned and we are truly grateful.”


Full list of awards and winners:


Delivering Our Vision – Keeping People Moving Awards:


  • Amos Stevenson, First Transit (North America)
  • Kerry Lambson, First Bus, First Travel Solutions (UK)


  • FirstView Development Team, First Student (North America)
  • First Midland Schedulers, Supervisors and Service Delivery Teams, First Bus (UK)


Delivering Our Vision – Keeping Communities Prospering Awards:


  • Debbie Ley, First Student (North America)
  • Claire Grant, First Bus, First Hampshire, Dorset and Berkshire (UK)


  • Sun Metro Management Team, First Transit (North America)
  • Bristol Green Capital Partnership team, First Bus, First Rail and FirstGroup (UK)


Delivering Our Strategy – Combining Expertise Awards:


  • Windsor Team, First Student (North America)
  • Rugby World Cup Team, First Bus, First Travel Solutions (UK)


Delivering Our Strategy – Spreading Best Practice Awards:


  • US Rail Team, First Transit (North America)
  • Aberdeen Engineering team, First Bus, First Aberdeen (UK)


Committed to Our Customers Awards:


  • Lonji Grinnage, First Transit (North America)
  • Annette Brown, First Rail, Hull Trains (UK)


  • Greyhound IT & Commercial Web Team, Greyhound (North America)
  • First West of England Depots, First Bus (UK)


Dedicated to Safety Awards:


  • Thomas Lanier, Greyhound (North America)
  • David Wells, First Bus, First West Yorkshire (UK)


  • Dallas Terminal Team, Greyhound (North America)
  • Hull Trains Safety Team, First Rail, Hull Trains (UK)


Supportive of Each Other Awards:


  • John Mollett, First Student (North America)
  • Tony Clegg, First Bus, First Greater Manchester (UK)


  • El Paso Management Team, Greyhound (North America)
  • Great Western Railway Care Team, First Rail, Great Western Railway (UK)


Accountable for Performance Awards:


  • Karen Preston, First Transit (North America)
  • Dervla McKay, First Bus, First Hampshire, Dorset and Berkshire (UK)


  • Accounts Payable team, FirstGroup (North America)
  • Bannockburn Depot, First Bus, First Scotland East (UK)


Setting the Highest Standards Awards:


  • Tom Greaves, First Transit (North America)
  • Ian Betts, First Bus, First Midlands (UK)


  • First Transit East Valley (RPTA), First Transit (North America)
  • First Bus Technical Team, First Bus (UK)