Sodexo, a leading global services company, is proud to announce that Fiona Stewart, contract director for its largest Student Living by Sodexo contract, Northumbria University has won the title of Manager of the Year at the 2019 IWFM Awards, held last night at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

IWFM Awards logoFiona joined Sodexo’s dedicated student accommodation services business, Student Living by Sodexo, in 2016 and over that time she has successfully led the 50-strong team delivering both hard and soft FM services across the University’s estate.

Fiona’s role does not stop at the delivery of services she and her team have a huge responsibility to the 2,600 young adults living in one of the six accommodation suites Sodexo manages on behalf of the University.

Over the last four years, Fiona and her team has transformed the way in which Northumbria manages its student accommodation, updating systems and processes to improve the standard of the buildings and delivering a much-improved student experience.

This is reflected in the 90% of students who say they are ‘very satisfied’ with the accommodation. Northumbria University was also recognised in the 2017 Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey’s top 10 universities for its facilities.

One of Fiona’s biggest achievements is her development of a pioneering Residency Living programme which focuses on the student experience and the transition from living at home and studying at school or college, to living and studying independently.  

Fiona introduced a Residency Living team into the contract at Northumbria. This team has plays a vital role in ensuring the day-to-day wellbeing of the students. Engagement between the team and new students begins ahead of the students starting university, the team play a vital role in the University’s open days, and also provide valuable information to students in the weeks leading up to their starting university to help them understand student life before they actually arrive.

The Residency Life programmes has now been extended across Sodexo’s wider Student Living portfolio nationally and will soon be launched in mainland Europe.

Andrew Wilkinson, CEO Schools & Universities, Sodexo, UK & Ireland said: “We are immensely proud of what Fiona has achieved and this award is very well-deserved. Her work with Northumbria and as part of our senior management team for our Student Living business is so valuable."

She not only understands what is required from a FM and business point of view she shows the qualities needed when working with young adults who are away from home for the first time and can often feel overwhelmed and alone.

Tracey Smith, managing director Student Living, Sodexo UK & Ireland adds:

Fiona’s Residency Life programme is a core part of our offer now and our teams work closely with our client universities to ensure that all their students receive support they need and accommodation which is not only comfortable but provides them with a safe environment to adjust to university life and living independently.



Fiona Stewart - contract director at Northumbria University, Student Living by Sodexo, Sodexo UK & Ireland

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