Article 19 March 2021

A look back at last year’s Mitie Stars winner Neil Wilde

With the 2020 Mitie Stars Annual Awards winners soon to be announced, we spoke to one of our winners from 2019 – Mobile Engineer, Neil Wilde to find out how it felt to be a star.

Neil won £5,000 for his heroism in preventing a knife attack. Whilst attending a job at a Halifax branch, he managed to restrain a woman who had pulled out a knife and begun to aggressively approach a teller. Neil, who has been with us since 2012, was praised for his ‘amazing and very brave response’ by the client. 

What did it feel like to be nominated for the award?

I didn’t realise anything about it to start with, until I told my supervisor on the day what had happened. My supervisor said congratulations, and that I might be up for a prize, but I didn’t think anything of it. Anybody would have done exactly the same; it’s just that I was there at the time. As the months rolled on and other people got wind of what had happened, other people mentioned that I might be nominated for something. At the end of the year my manager received an email to tell me to come to the Shard on a certain date – it wasn’t until then that I realised I might win!

What did you spend the money on?
Because of COVID we didn’t go abroad, but it would’ve been on a holiday. I went up to Northumberland for a week with my wife, and a bit went to upgrade my fishing tackle. I’m retiring next month at the end of April, so the plan is to do more fishing.

Has it changed the way you feel at work?

Not really, but it’s a lovely ‘thank you’. It shows that the things we do outside of our remit can be recognised. I could have turned a blind eye, or walked away, but my instinct kicked in.

As you’re retiring next month, what piece of advice would you give to Mitie employees just starting their careers?

I’ve been working for 50 years, nine of those with Mitie. My advice would be to keep training, learning, listening, and taking advice because experience sets you up for life. In every walk of life, you always find out something new. Even now, when I work with other engineers, I pick up new ways of doing things.