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Frontline award

Sara Stephenson of Sodexo’s healthcare business, was presented with the Frontline award at the 2019 Women in Security (WIS) Awards on September 12.

Sara is Sodexo’s portering and security manager for Queen’s Hospital, Romford. She joined the FM firm in 2013 as a portering supervisor, progressing to deputy portering and security manager within one year.

The FM company reports that she has brought multiple improvements to the service: such as, covert stab vests and awareness training, engagement with the NHS Trust’s teams, and championing diversity. Sara plays a vital role at Queen’s Hospital, with her quick actions and leadership skills used in the prevention of death and serious injury across multiple incidents.

On her win, Sara, pictured centre, said: “After I fell into security, I quickly sunk my teeth into the service. Since managing both the portering and security services at Queen’s Hospital, the team has employed seven female security officers and 10 female porters to reduce the perception that these roles are ‘male jobs’. I have also helped to introduce a caring, reactive and compassionate approach over a hard security image; this has really helped to support the needs of the hospital’s vulnerable patients.

“I was ecstatic to hear my name called out after working in a male dominated environment for so long. I am very grateful for the nomination and to those who took time to vote and organise the WIS Awards ceremony.”

Jane Farrell, Head of Security, Sodexo UK & Ireland, added: “Since joining Sodexo, Sara has been a consistently hard worker who has bought ideas and innovation to her team and the company’s wider security family. She always leads by example, maintaining a professional and calm exterior even in the most complex and dangerous of situations. She is a credit to herself, her team and Sodexo.”

Also pictured are Professional Security Magazine columnist Una Riley; and magazine MD Roy Cooper, at the 2019 Awards in London.

About Women in Security Awards

WIS are the UK security sector’s awards to mark the accomplishments, value and contributions of women. The awards are judged by the chairs and chief executives of UK professional bodies within the security industry. In total, three Sodexo people were shortlisted in two of the five award categories. For all the winners, visit


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