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A chance to thank people who work in public services - from nurses and teachers to librarians and binmen - for outs...
A chance to thank people who work in public services - from nurses and teachers to librarians and binmen - for outstanding service, was offered today with the launch of the 1996 Charter Mark public nomination scheme.

Chairman of the independent panel of Charter Mark judges, Lord Blyth of Rowington, said:

'Thousands of public servants work really hard to do the best possible job for the people who use their services. By making a nomination, whether it's for your local school, hospital, leisure centre or even tax office, you can show your appreciation for the people who work in those services.

'We all like to be told if we're doing a good job. And Charter Mark winners spread their example which means better standards in all our public services. So say thank you to a service that's gone the extra mile for you by nominating them for a Charter Mark.'

Organisations will be told if they receive a nomination. They must then decide if they wish to apply for a Charter Mark. The closing date for nominations is 31 May.

-- To nominate an organisation for a Charter Mark, the public can either call 0645 400 444 (calls at local rates), or complete the nomination leaflet available at selected main post offices, Tescos and other public service outlets including libraries, town halls and jobcentres or write to Charter Mark Nominations, FREEPOST (RG2670), Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 2ZY giving the organisation's name and address.

-- Any public service organisation providing a service direct to the public can be nominated for a Charter Mark. Winners receive a certificate and trophy and can use the Charter Mark logo on their stationery etc for three years.

-- To win the award organisations must demonstrate that they meet the following criteria: setting standards and telling users what those standards are; telling users about all services and help available; asking users what services they need and how they think they can be improved; making good use of users' ideas; giving users choice wherever possible; providing a polite and helpful service; providing an effective 'user friendly' complaints procedure; ensuring value for money is achieved through careful spending of public money; evidence of improvement in the quality of service and new ideas for future improvements; and evidence that users agree a good service is being provided.

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