Kellie Simcox smiling to camera holding her award, stood with two men who were sponsoring the event.

10 November 2023

The Black Country Chamber of Commerce has named Kellie Simcox as the ‘Employee of the Year’ at their high profile 2023 Awards that took place on 9th November.

Kellie Simcox, Area Manager of YMCA Day Nurseries in the Black Country, beat off the challenge of some of the region’s most talented individuals to win the main prize in front of 500 people at Dunstall Racecourse in Wolverhampton.

Having dedicated the last 12 years of her life to helping children in their development journey, she impressed judges with her unwavering commitment to the success and wellbeing of her team, as well as achieving a host of operational successes in the last twelve months. These included recruiting new staff, launching the organisation’s Apprenticeship Academy and helping to get the latest nursery on St James’s Road, Dudley, up and running.

Her work in developing the bespoke YMCA Early Years curriculum was also praised and highlighted as a key factor in helping those in disadvantaged communities to progress developmentally, outperforming many of their more affluent peers.

Steve Bavington, Chief Executive of YMCA Black Country Group, added his support: “I can’t think of a more worthy recipient for the Employee of the Year Award than Kellie – she is more than just a manager; she is a guiding light for her colleagues and the entire early years team.

“She always just says she is doing her job, but it’s so much more than that. Her determination to give children the best possible start in life has made a positive difference to hundreds of young lives in the Black Country and that number is only going to increase as we widen our network of nurseries.”

One of Kellie Simcox’s most remarkable qualities is her outstanding pastoral support. In challenging times, she has been a lifeline for many staff members, helping them navigate their responsibilities and personal challenges with empathy and understanding.

Numerous colleagues have shared that without her support, they would have felt overwhelmed and unable to manage their workloads and she has been instrumental in helping a now Junior Manager at YMCA Black Country Group return to work after a family bereavement.

Sarah Moorhouse, Chief Executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, concluded:

“The winner of this award had to embody the organisation they worked for, and Kellie ticked all of those boxes.

“She’s dedicated 12 years of service to YMCA and champions its values every single day without ever really understanding how important and highly regarded she actually is.”

The Black Country Chamber Awards was a major success for the forward-looking charity, with YMCA Black Country Group also picking up the Highly Commended title in the Business Commitment to the Community category.