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26th February 2016

Women of Bird Board: Susan Thomas doesn’t take no for an answer.

Susan received her MBE back in 2011, whilst working for the Danish owned, Netto Food Stores Ltd which was part of the Danish Supermarket Group.

During her time there, she encouraged the store managers to raise money for Children in Need and requested a budget to help with the marketing activity etc. Her request was declined, but she decided to do it anyway.

Susan set each of the store managers a challenge which was to raise as much money as they could for Children in Need, she gave them ideas of how to do it with a prize for the store team that raised the most.

The gauntlet was laid.

In total, with Susan’s motivation and direction, Netto Food Stores raised around £500,000 over 2009 and 2010.

One day months later, she received a telephone call which went something like this…

‘I’m calling from the Prime Minister’s Office. If Her Majesty the Queen was to consider recognising your work with and MBE award, would you be minded to accept?’

Of course, it’s not every day that you receive a call from the Prime Minster’s office and Susan thought it was a wind up, but when she mentioned it to the Managing Director’s secretary, it came to light that behind the scenes they had been collecting evidence for months.

Susan is insistent that she didn’t receive the award alone, it was a combination of everyone’s hard work, and the MD was also insistent that it wasn’t just for co-ordinating the collection; it was for not taking no for an answer and doing it anyway.

Susan is a member of our Pontefract board and is a HR consultant. She is currently working 2 days a week with Farmer Copley’s which is where our Pontefract board is held.