A private school in Dorset has recently shone a spotlight on its unsung heroes.

Karen Wiggs, a domestic assistant in housekeeping, has secured the inaugural BRYte Lights award at Bryanston and Bryanston Knighton House schools near Blandford. The new peer-nominated scheme recognises outstanding contributions within a team of around 500 support staff at the two schools. Karen was confirmed as the winner from a list of ten finalists at a special awards dinner held at Bryanston Knighton House.

Presenting the award to Ms Wiggs, Nick Dodd, Bryanston’s Chief Operating Officer, said that the glowing testimonials from colleagues in so many different areas of the two schools provided clear evidence of Karen’s commitment to her work and the impact of her infectious smile and bubbly personality on everyone around her.

He said: “Karen is a person who always has a smile on her face and who is great at her job, and nothing is ever too much trouble for her.

“She is one of those special people with the drive, personality and warmth to brighten anyone’s day – even at a time when she has had to face up to very challenging personal circumstances. She really is an exceptional member of the Bryanston community who always goes the extra mile and she thoroughly deserves this award recognition.”

Ms Wiggs said: “For once, I am lost for words.

“I love my work here at Bryanston as there is a very real family feel to life at the two schools. But to receive an award from my colleagues means so much and is not something I expected - it is truly very touching.”

Nominations for the first BRYte Lights awards were received from all departments in the schools including estates, housekeeping, catering, medical, academic support and administration, and the judging panel comprised a diverse cross-section of support staff.

Mr Dodd praised the resolve and contribution of all ten finalists – Chris Blacker, Jodi Twist, Kris Browne, Jess Stocks, Abi Hatrey, Cathy Newby, Callie Woodrow, Dan Stokes and Sarah Spencer and confirmed that the awards scheme would now become a regular annual feature of life at the two schools, with heats held at the end of every school term culminating with an awards dinner at the end of the year.