Property expert Bernadette receives staff gold award


She has been described as the fount of all property knowledge.

For the past decade, Bernadette Cherry has scrutinised leases, rents, contracts, building plans and everything in between on behalf of Solent NHS Trust.

Her knowledge in the area has astounded colleagues.

Now Bernadette, Head of Asset Management, has been named Solent NHS Estates and Facilities’ 2024 gold award winner in recognition of her awesomeness.

She is the third member of staff to receive the special annual award since it was introduced in 2022.

Mark Young, Deputy Director of Estates and Facilities, said: “Although very much behind the scenes, the work of Bernadette and her team could not be more important.

“Bernadette’s knowledge of our buildings and sites is quite incredible; she is like a walking encyclopaedia of all things to do with Solent Estates.

“As well as being an expert in her field, she is supportive of colleagues and is a caring leader. A true professional with an amazing work ethic, Bernadette thoroughly deserves this award.”

Bernadette received a voucher and framed certificate after being selected from an impressive list of finalists.

Her nomination read: “Bernadette is the fountain of property knowledge; there is nothing that she doesn’t know about property, property transaction and property law.

“In recent months, she has worked tirelessly as our subject matter expert in the Fusion space and has been instrumental in ensuring the transaction was successful.

“She is caring, insightful and explains process without judgement. She also has the confidence to challenge a course of action if processes are incorrect.”


Also shortlisted in this year’s awards were:

Darcy Ames – Receptionist/Cashier Apprentice, Bitterne

Darcy has really stepped up while we have had staffing issues and has taken on so many other roles and responsibilities. She has managed Bitterne Health Centre independently while supporting other sites and staff within the team. She always uses her initiative and is confident with her decision making; you can always rely on her to be responsible and rational.


Frederick Bile – Housekeeping Supervisor, Western Community Hospital

Fred joined the team of housekeeping supervisors about 18 months ago and it became very clear how passionate he is about his role with the hospital. If there is a job to do – an emergency, a call out or any action that needs a quick reaction – Fred is there, always going that extra mile for all of us; nothing is too much trouble. Having Fred as part of the team has inspired us all; with his continued help, support, reliability, kindness, patience and listening, he is an asset to the teams.


Steve Dunne – Technical Infrastructure Engineer

Steve has been working with the net zero hub to enable us to put forward relevant funding applications. The work he did on the funding application, and the quotes Jo Warwick had previously obtained, led to us gaining £777k of funding to enable us to complete the installation of LED lighting at St Mary’s Community Health Campus, St James’ Hospital and Western Community Hospital. This will have a significant environmental impact and help the Trust to save money long-term through the reduction in kwh’s used. Steve has a fantastic “can do” attitude and a plethora of knowledge, and it is a pleasure to work with him.


Chris James – Senior Estate Maintenance and Infrastructure Manager

Chris because he is a legend. He not only gets the wheels turning but also collaborates unwaveringly with the Projects team when we are doing a thing.


Chris James – Senior Estate Maintenance and Infrastructure Manager – and Dave Brown – Estates Maintenance Operations Manager

Managing maintenance is by far one of those roles whereby you are only as good as your last job. Everyday there are multifaceted challenges that are often beyond anyone’s control, and it takes a lot of resilience to work in this field as long as Chris and Dave have. Their knowledge across a broad spectrum of disciplines is fabulous and this has been achieved through many years at the coal face of maintaining buildings and their own areas of expertise. Their operational work ethic is outstanding, ensuring the various services and patients are not impeded, resulting on occasions in them personally attending call-outs to support the team, working late into the night and weekends when there have been emergencies.


John Lacey – Supply Chain Operations Manager

John has worked within the NHS for nearly 30 years, working his way up to the role he currently holds. Under John’s guidance, his team has gone from strength to strength – so much so that he has contributed and made savings by introducing his service into clinical wards and health centres, saving valuable nursing hours. John always has his colleagues and Solent patients at the forefront of everything he does and is a true ambassador of Solent’s values.


Kerrie Lowe – PA to Mark Young, Deputy Director of Estates and Facilities

Kerrie is brilliant; she is the glue that keeps a lot of us together.

Kerrie is always so helpful and her tenacity in helping to get things done is fantastic. She always has a smile, a kind word, she ensures we all feel included, and she has the most amazing “can do” attitude to help. It is a pleasure to work with someone who not only has emotional intelligence and kindness at the core of who she is, but you know that if Kerrie says she will do something for you then it will happen.


Peter Matterson – Estates Logistics Distributor

Peter works really hard and is an amazing asset to our team. He regularly goes above and beyond, for example when he cleared leaves from the drains in the rear car park at Oakley Road. He did an outstanding job in some extreme weather. It was very helpful and definitely above and beyond his own duties.


Sam Vincent – Project Management Apprentice

Sam works collaboratively with the team and our partners and is always ready to muck in and help with whatever is required to get the job done, often at short notice and to tight timescales. Sam has quickly become indispensable on the Western Community Hospital redevelopment project, running some key dependency projects including the installation of the new windows and PV panels, while also managing the hugely popular site tours for staff and external partners. Sam has fitted into the projects team exceptionally well and is a real team player, working for various senior leads and supporting multiple projects at a time.  Sam juggles his busy work days with even busier studies for his project management degree and brings what he’s learnt to the fore in his work role.


Mark Young – Deputy Director of Estates and Facilities

Mark is a caring and compassionate leader. Despite his busy schedule, he always makes time for one-to-ones and is flexible, kind and encouraging. He explains process without judgement and sets the direction with his strategic brief; you can rely on him to give you clear instructions. Mark has a great sense of humour, lives the Trust values and always acts in the best interests of patients and staff.



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