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Unsung Hero Award: Lisa Connellan - King’s College London

9th Apr 2024 - 11:46

Lisa Connellan has been with King’s College London as a retail manager for the past three years, coming from University of Greenwich where she worked for the Student Union. The retail manager role was a newly created one with an expectation to standardise products, processes and experience in the 20 outlets, spread over campuses across the capital.

Since joining KCL, Lisa has made a significant difference to how they operate. She devised and implemented a special cost-of-living package for students in hardship. Lisa leads the training, process mapping and implementation of Natasha’s Law.

Introduction and implementation of Too Good To Go in all sites was done to help reduce food waste. They have 1,379 users who have added their stores to their favourites and been seen 300,000 times.

Lisa worked closely with the waste supplier to change all the packaging to either biodegradable or compostable and removed all single-use plastic packaging. She introduced ‘Bottle Up: English Water in a Reusable Bottle’. Since its launch in April 2023, King’s has sold 700 of these bottles thus saving the CO2e of recycling 700 single bottles plastic water bottles.

With the support from TUCO and its suppliers, Lisa has realigned the packaged products in the outlets with plant-forward sustainable food options and increased the average gross profit to 65%, without increasing the selling price. It’s a Win-Win-Win for all and a real bonus during the current cost-of-living crisis.

Charles Gallagher, director of King’s community business services, commented: “Lisa is efficient, detail-oriented, proactive and extremely competent. She works collaboratively across the College and has an excellent rapport with key stakeholders.”

She produced the King’s Food digital guide, which includes recipes, outlet guides, locations and other information about King’s Food. So far it has been shared 16,000 times and viewed over 24,000 times with an average of 20 minutes spent per view.

Lisa is actively part of the King’s Mentor Scheme where she regularly coaches and mentors’ mainly women, to navigate their careers within higher education. She also successfully implemented an online procurement system, along with key stakeholders and ensures the optimisation of this software.

Apart from the above listed achievements, in her free time Lisa regularly volunteers with the NHS in the local area and has consistently supported them over the pandemic. She has recently been appointed on the welfare board for Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh, a category-A men’s prison.

Her main responsibilities will include, one-to-one chats with the prisoners on their living conditions, reporting the state of the facilities and impromptu site visits and audits. This non-remunerated work will involve a lot of her personal time but Lisa chooses to do this, to make the best of her skills and give something back to the community.

Lisa’s continued collaborative work and contribution has helped KCL achieve a few milestones such as: helping King’s College reach Two star Fairtrade University Status, coming 2nd in the People and Planet League (up from 25th) and getting FISU Healthy Campus platinum status.

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