Bus passengers in Sunderland can reward a bus driver who has a winning smile or a team member who has gone the extra mile and the chance to win up to £500 as part of a customer service champions initiative.

Local bus operator Stagecoach North East has launched its 2018 Champions Awards for employees – and is inviting bus passengers across Sunderland to nominate their favourite member of staff for the Customer Service Champions Award, with a chance to win a cash prize.

Now in its ninth year, the company’s Group-wide Champions Awards recognises staff achievements in a number of categories including safety, environment, health, innovation, community and customer service.

Stagecoach North East is calling on the help of bus customers in Sunderland to nominate their favourite employee, which could be a driver, customer service assistant, inspector or any other member of the Stagecoach team.

The Stagecoach Group Champions Awards recognises team members who make the journey extra special or deserve a simple thank you.

All employees nominated will be in with a chance of winning a gold, silver or bronze champions award.

The customer who nominates a gold award-winning employee will receive £500, a silver award-winning employee will receive £250 and a bronze award-winning employee will receive £125.

Managing Director of Stagecoach North East, Steve Walker, said: “We know many of our staff have a great relationship with our customers and the job they do is appreciated by the local community.

This is a chance for our customers to help local staff gain recognition at a national level as well as potentially winning a prize themselves.

“We hope people will take the time to nominate their favourite Stagecoach employees in Sunderland.”

Customers who wish to nominate an employee should visit www.stagecoachbus.com or email champions@stagecoachgroup.com to give details of the staff member and an explanation of why they believe the employee deserves to win an award.

The deadline for nominations is midnight on Friday 25 May 2018.

The awards are open to employees across Stagecoach’s bus and rail operations in the UK and around 180 staff members have been honoured for their outstanding efforts over the past eight years.

For further information about Stagecoach North East please visit www.stagecoachbus.com