PEOPLE who work at the Woking-based Acosta Europe field marketing company put themselves forward for annual awards that tested their expertise in more ways than one.

Their professional capability and knowledge was judged at the company’s annual Spotlight Awards and their ability to work as a team was also examined in a practical challenge that had benefits for charity.

Acosta Europe, which has its HQ at Dukes Court in the town centre, has field representatives working across the country.

The Spotlight Awards is an annual event to celebrate the achievements of those who have gone above and beyond. This year’s theme was Bigger, Better, Stronger, Together.

The company’s office and support co-ordinator Laura Turner explained: “Colleagues can put themselves forward to enter or they can be nominated by someone else from the company. 

“Once all the submissions are in, the leadership reviews all the entries and decide who the finalists will be.

“The finalists must present their story at the awards on stage in front of 150 managers from across the business. Some finalists had never presented before and most have never stood up on stage.” 

In the six weeks leading up to the Spotlight Awards, the finalists are given a mentor to help coach them with their presentation and delivery.

There are three categories and this year’s winners all work on the Nestlé account: in the field, Kirsty Higgins; head office, Alex Scott and Megan Griffiths; managers, Lorraine Bowley.

The theme for the team-building exercise was go-kart building and racing. Teams of ten were given a box with instructions on how to construct a go-kart, come up with a team name and logo, and create a social media post for TikTok and assign roles.

All teams then had to race their go-karts around the track and drive them into a pit stop where their team-mates had to take off all four wheels and put them back on as fast as they could – Formula 1 style.

It was a nail-biting final with group managing director Ian Forshew’s team just missing out on first place.

The winning team were awarded a trophy.

“As part of our environmental, social and governance strategy, we wanted to give the go-karts to charity,” said Laura.

Several karts were donated to Challengers, an organisation at Guildford that provides play opportunities for disabled people aged two to 18. Others have been given to Scout groups at Ascot and Binfield.

“Challengers have had a race track painted on their playground and the go-karts will be perfect for that,” added Laura.