By Angela Green: Nando’s Changing Lives Awards 2023 Winners.
Nando’s UK and Ireland has announced the winners of its Changing Lives Awards 2023. The awards were presented at the company’s annual conference, Indaba, in South Africa last month.
Two awards were presented, one each to Anna Konstantellou, Regional Property Manager and Bonnie Naef, 1st Assistant Manager.
From a selfless act of kindness to ongoing commitment to causes, Nando’s Changing Lives Awards recognise those who have gone above and beyond to make a real impact on others not only in their job roles but also in their local communities.
Anna Konstantellou, Regional Property Manager – 2023 Winner of Changing Lives Awards
Anna was recognised for her huge efforts and unwavering support of local charity, The Upper Room in West London.
Helping the homeless by providing food, counselling and training, this charity relies heavily on the goodwill of volunteers. Anna has played a key role in rallying support of this charity across Nando’s central support department, continuing years of strong partnership between the charity and Nando’s.
Last Christmas, she led the team in fundraising over £4300 and put together 160 hampers, which included both necessities and treats, to gift to people who were using the charity’s services on Christmas Day.
Following receiving her award Anna Konstantellou commented: “I cannot believe that I won this award, it is such a big surprise. I love working with The Upper Room, the work they do is truly inspiring and helps so many people. I just want to help in any way I can. This was my second Indaba, and it was such an honour to win this award – made the whole trip extra special.”
Bonnie Naef, 1st Assistant Manager – 2023 Winner of Changing Lives Awards
Bonnie has worked for Nando’s for over eight years, joining during her gap year and staying throughout her degree.
A few promotions later and by completing Nando’s apprenticeship programme, Bonnie is now 1st Assistant working in a number of restaurants in Sussex. Having just opened Nando’s latest restaurant in Worthing, Bonnie will soon be heading to London Road, Brighton which is due to open this summer.
Bonnie was recognised with the Changing Lives Award for the incredible work she has done with local Sussex-based charity partners.
Working with The Crew Club and the Resurgo Spear Programme, Bonnie has supported dozens of people who face barriers to employment into Nando’s. Additionally, Bonnie has supported these charities with one-off events and initiatives including hosting a Christmas lunch, providing meals for over 90 people.
She is currently in the midst of recruiting and training for the new restaurant opening in London Road Brighton and is working with charity partners to find talent and build the team.
Bonnie was delighted to receive her award and said: “What an amazing surprise! I had no idea that I had been nominated, let alone that I might win. This achievement is not just down to me, this is a whole team effort. My Patrao [General Manager], Matthew Larham and my Managing Director, Ben Bunker, are the true brains behind our charity partners in Brighton and the surrounding areas, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do, without their support.”
Sam McCarthy, Head of Sustainability of Nando’s, said: “Both Anna and Bonnie embody what our Changing Lives Awards are all about. They not only live and breathe our values, but they inspire others to live by them and as a result have a lasting impact on everyone around them.
“Seeing them both being presented with the awards at our annual conference, Indaba, which took place this year in the birthplace of Nando’s, South Africa, made it extra special. Huge congratulations to both Anna and Bonnie, it is a massive achievement.”
Nando’s Indaba is the company’s annual conference, which brings together hundreds of team members to reconnect, become inspired, and live and breathe the Nando’s story and heritage. Open to restaurant management teams and central support roles, 2023 brought Indaba home to South Africa, previous destinations include Saville and Lisbon.
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