As always, there were a lot of very proud people and heart warming moments at Go North East's annual awards ceremony to celebrate their employees - and lots of laughter and fun to boot!
Nearly 200 of our people gathered at the Centre for Life to celebrate as we paid tribute to everyone who has shone so brightly over the last 12 months and gone above and beyond to help our customers.
BBC Radio Newcastle presenter, Sue Sweeney, compered the event and everyone enjoyed magic by top magician Paul Lytton, a complimentary meal and drinks, casino tables, giant scalextric racing and dancing.
The Employee of the Year 2016 award went to a remarkable employee who also won Driver of the Year - Ross McNeil from Percy Main. This is actually the second time Ross has won Driver of the Year – he scooped the accolade back in 2014. Ross really is a human masterclass in how to be a brilliant bus driver, having achieved the maximum Mystery Traveller score of 58 on many occasions - which is no mean feat.
Our £8.5m Gateshead Riverside depot had a successful night, picking up ‘Depot of the Year’ for having the best overall performance record over the last 12 months.
Gateshead Riverside - Depot of the Year 2016
Several other awards also went to Riverside employees - including Runner-up Apprentice of the Year, Michael Ord; Engineer of the Year, Philip Stephenson; Runner-up in Going the Extra Mile, Mark Allsopp; and Team of the Year was the Riverside Run-out Team.
L-R Finance director Colin McPherson awards Phil Stephenson Engineer of the Year 2016 award.
Team of the Year 2016 - Riverside Run-out Team.
Engineer Aidan Baldridge, from Deptford, was crowned Apprentice of the Year 2016 for his outstanding skills and can-do attitude. Aidan has been described by his manager as "a real rock" for his commitment to his team and one to watch.
Apprentice of the Year 2016, Aidan Baldridge.
Bus driver David Stacey, who works at our Stanley depot, won Unsung Hero of the Year for his proactive and positive approach to mentoring new drivers and for his role in supporting employee relations.
Unsung Hero winner, David Stacey.
The Excellence in Customer Service award was scooped by customer-favourite, Ken Waterson, a driver from our Percy Main depot.
Excellence in Customer Service winner, bus driver, Ken Waterson.
Michael Handy, from the driver training school, was awarded the Going the Extra Mile accolade for his hard work and consistent efforts to help out his colleagues.
Proud moment for Going the Extra Mile winner, Mick Handy.
Perhaps you could be picking up an award at our employee awards celebration next year? We are one of the North East's largest employers and we are always looking for people who are great with people to help us transport 180,000 passengers to their chosen destinations every day.
To see what it's like to be part of Team GNE and to view our job opportunities click here.
Here are some more images from the awards event...