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Air Ambulance Business Team shortlisted for Welsh Contact Centre Awards 2023 

THE WALES Air Ambulance is delighted to announce that its Business Services Team has been shortlisted as a finalist in a prestigious Welsh contact centre awards ceremony.  
The team, which was set up on 1 February 2022, will compete against some of the biggest names in the industry in the CNect Welsh Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards. 
The ceremony celebrates excellence and innovative practice from individuals and companies across Wales.  
These prestigious Awards cover the whole of Wales, with some of the finest people and teams within the contact centre and shared service industry. They recognise the achievements and successes in all parts of the sector, ranging from front-line advisors, support staff, HR, IT, initiatives, and service. 
It also offers a major opportunity to raise the profile of a company or Charity and recognise and reward the excellence of its staff members.  
Previous winners include Lloyds Banking Group, The Royal Mint, Virgin Atlantic Airways, BT, Legal and General, the DVLA and The Principality Group to name a few. 
The Charity’s Business Services Team has been shortlisted as a finalist in the “Customer Team of the Year” category and will find out if they have won at a glittering black-tie awards ceremony at Cardiff City Stadium on 29 September 2023.  
It is the first time the Wales Air Ambulance has entered the awards.  
The Business Services Team is the first point of contact for supporters via telephone, email and face to face communication at Dafen HQ and the Caernarfon Hub. The team deals with a wide array of enquiries including discussions about Lifesaving Lottery memberships, requests for fundraising support for an event, making donations or past patients and their families looking for support following their treatment.  
The team is also responsible for assessing and arranging collections of preloved items, kindly donated to sell in the Wales Air Ambulance shops. As well as this, the team acts as an administrative hub for other departments within the Charity, handling a selection of general administrative duties. 
The Charity’s team consists of Business Services Manager Gareth Robbins, Business Service Advisors Richard Williams, Ceren Jones, Katrina Ellis, and Rebecca Thomas, and Logistics Coordinators Michael Pugh and Corrine Beynon.  
As part of the judging process, an evidence pack was supplied which included a brief overview of the team’s roles and responsibilities, statistical evidence highlighting the added value to the Charity, supporter feedback, and testimonials from other department heads within the Charity. Two team members were also interviewed over Zoom by the judging panel.  
In July and August 2022, the Charity was receiving approximately 550 incoming emails and calls per month, however, this year this has risen to 900 per month. The efficiency of the team and the structure that has been implemented has ensured that this has not impacted other departments across the Charity. 
The percentage of enquiries being handled by the Business Services Team used to sit at 50%, but fast forward 12 months and the team now resolves over 80% of queries at the first opportunity. This significant increase enables other departments to focus on their tasks, increases efficiency and ensures that every supporter has a consistent level of service.   
Gareth said: “I am incredibly proud of what the team has achieved in a relatively short period of time. Our small team of five will be going head-to-head with some well-established heavyweights of the customer service industry in Wales, and that is a testament to the hard work and dedication shown by every member of the team.  
“Even being named as finalists is a huge honour, and regardless of whether we are ultimately successful or not, I think this external validation of the work we are undertaking is a massive credit to the team and the Charity as a whole.”  
Dr Sue Barnes, Wales Air Ambulance Chief Executive, said “The introduction of the Business Services Team was an important objective within our 2021-2026 strategy. It was set up with the view of providing a more consistent and joined-up approach to the Charity’s supporter interactions and operational support to its internal functions.  
“In less than two years, the team has made a huge difference to the professionalism and efficiency of our first-point-of-contact supporter engagement, which has not only improved the experience for those who reach out to us but has also freed up other employees across the organisation to offer more focused support for our active donors and stakeholders. 
“This external recognition is a validation of the significant progress that the team has made and the value that they bring to our lifesaving service.”