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Loughborough University Medal
Bob Perridge is Maintenance Supervisor for the Building and Joinery Section within Estates Services here at Loughborough University.
He joined the University 37 years ago on the 17th November 1969 as a young Apprentice Joiner. He was soon recognised as a skilled Craftsman and his role grew so that he become a Chargehand and then Foreman in the development up to his current position as Maintenance supervisor. During the 37 years that he has been here he has seen many changes within the University, not least the massive growth of the University Estate. Bob’s leadership has been crucial in delivering this growth and his section has developed and adapted to meet the changing needs of a successful fast growing University. He has built a tight, supportive and adaptable team and everyone speaks warmly of the way he goes out of his way to support the people around him. An example of this is the way that he, along with other colleagues, actively supported a member of staff who had learning difficulties and had been deaf from birth. The assistance offered by Bob and the team helped this colleague lead as normal a life as possible at home and at work.
Not only is he charismatic and concerned for his colleagues, he is also extremely committed to his work and will often go beyond the call of duty to ensure that business goes on as normal. For example I have heard that as a young man, well even younger than he is now, he was seriously injured in a nasty motorcycle accident. His injuries were not going to deter Bob. He was so keen to return to work and keep the show on the road that he arrived on crutches and insisted on carrying on.
A special feature of his skills, which I must tell you about, is his remarkable knowledge and experience of locking systems across the University. Manual locks, “suited keys”, swipe card access – there isn’t anywhere on campus that Bob can’t get people into, or out of. It’s just as well that he is on the side of the ‘good guys’!
The part that he plays in the smooth running of the University cannot be underestimated. The things that he does affect the welfare of both staff and students, and greatly influence the quality of what we know as the ‘Loughborough experience’. Whatever the time of day or year Bob’s team will be making sure that University facilities and residences run as smoothly as possible. This is an unseen, and sometimes unrecognised role – but one that would immediately be missed if it weren’t done so effectively! I hope that Bob will have taken great pride in our success in being awarded the UK Student Experience of the Year award, because this is as much due to the wonderful work of Bob and his colleagues as it is to the more high profile roles across the campus.
Away from work, Bob is a keen diver and has been a great supporter of the Student Diving Club, ensuring that everyone who wants to can be part of the club. A colleague of Bob’s has told us that, once, when carrying out a room modification for a student with disabilities, they discovered that Bob already knew the disabled student – He had been helping him participate in the Student Diving Club – enabling this disabled student to participate more fully in the ‘Loughborough Experience’.
This quiet but pervasive interest in the needs of all around him, coupled with the high quality of his work, is what has led Bob to be recommended for this medal.
Therefore Chancellor I am delighted to present to you, for the award of the Loughborough University Medal for outstanding service to the university, Bob Perridge.