Last updated on 12 July 2022
Rosa Quintana – whose recent exhibition ‘Unobtrusive Impact’ at Leeds University Union won widespread acclaim – has been named Cleaning Operative of the Year by the British Association of Cleaning in Higher Education (BACHE).
The award acknowledges those who have performed their role to a high degree of professionalism throughout the year, and who may have shown initiative in contributing to the student experience and outside the normal requirements of their role.
“I’m very happy to receive this award and want to thank Jill Roberts, Head of Cleaning Services, for nominating me and for all her support.
“Mostly though, I want to say thank you to my colleagues in the cleaning team who let me photograph them and tell their stories. I wanted to show students, staff and visitors what we do and how essential we are to the success of the University.
“I also wanted to shine a spotlight on these amazing individuals from all over the world who are often quite ‘invisible’ – their lives, their hopes and fears.”
Professional photographer Rosa started work at the University in 2017 after coming to Leeds with her son from Spain, when he started at university in the city.
Jill Roberts, Head of Cleaning Services – part of the Facilities Directorate at the University of Leeds – said:
“Like all our cleaning team, Rosa brings skill and commitment to her work and thoroughly deserves this award.
“I was so pleased when she came to me with the idea of the exhibition, which highlights the essential role of cleaning teams everywhere.
“This was very evident during the pandemic when Rosa’s photographs were taken. The essential functions of the University continued and my team – and many others in the Facilities Directorate – had to keep going, adapting to new guidelines.”
The award ceremony took place last night at Manchester Metropolitan University, organised by BACHE.
Praise for ‘Unobtrusive Impact’
People across the University took to email and social media to praise the exhibition:
“Really lovely work, and I particularly liked reading about some of the people in the pictures.”
(Gareth Dant, Head of Media Relations)
“I am so very proud of Rosa and what she has done for the cleaning industry….She really put us on the map. Well done to Rosa she is a really inspirational member of staff. She is very valued in our team and throughout cleaning services.”
(Theresa Fahy, Operations Team Leader, Cleaning Services)
“This is amazing…awesome shift of perspectives, the crucial work of our cleaning colleagues.”
(Harriet Boatwright, Learning & Development Adviser)