Created for 2020, this category recognises the extraordinary work that workplace and facilities professionals have undertaken at the frontline of the nation’s effort to combat COVID-19, celebrating outstanding individuals and teams for the positive impact they have made in responding to these unprecedented circumstances.
Supporting the community
Edmonton Green Shopping Centre
When Covid-19 hit, its impact was disproportionately felt in already deprived areas, one being the area around Edmonton Green Shopping Centre in north London.
The 26-acre site, comprising 30 retailers and a market, is part of a wider community scheme run by Ashdown Phillips & Partners.
Marie Kyriacou-Edwards (operations manager), Naomi Wainford (operations assistant) and June Tonge (centre administrator), work with Sabri Marsaoui of the centre’s owners, Crosstree Real Estate Partners.
This team already saw its role as working both to operate the shopping centre and make a positive impact on the community - but the pandemic made this role all the more essential.
“The team contacted more than 20 community groups to organise donations”
Recognising a need to go beyond its on-site role, the team organised care packages and donations to the wider Edmonton community, including the 2,000 residents living at the heart of the community scheme. It contacted more than 20 community groups to organise donations both to those in need and organisations set up to help those in need. They purchased items from on-site retailers to contribute to the community, delivering to local organisations such as Enfield Stands Together, the Covid response organisation set up by Enfield Council. The team itself went about delivering care packages to vulnerable local residents.
While keeping the shopping centre open with a management team reduced by 50% due to furlough and a vacant position, the team has still managed to cement existing relationships in the local community and creating new ones.
The team talk about how FM “often throws up the unexpected,” and how they knew they couldn’t fix everything alone. But they say it’s in the essence of FM to seek to work together and with others to “put smiles on faces and “sprinkle some magic into people’s daily lives”, demonstrating their ongoing goal of putting Edmonton Green Shopping Centre at the heart of the community.
On the Covid Frontline
NHS Property Services
The NHS Property Services (NHSPS) team of 4,000 FM staff, comprising facilities coordinators, team leaders, cleaners, porters, engineers and caterers, was tasked with critical acts of creation and keeping buildings, assets and people safe during lockdown.
NHSPS has one of the largest property portfolios in the UK, with more than 3,000 properties and 7,000 tenants across England. It needed to repurpose space to provide urgent additional bed capacity, maintaining safe and clean environments to new infection control standards.
NHSPS trained its teams in the cleaning of in-patient areas where patients had suspected or confirmed Covid-19. It also hosted sessions with tenants’ cleaning teams to ensure compliance with new PHE standards.
Between March and August 2020, the FM team conducted 2,585 deep cleans to reduce risk of infection; carried out over 15,000 emergency or urgent jobs and 18,000 non-urgent tasks; supported 1,738 site risk assessments; facilitated the temporary closure of 98 sites to reduce the spread of infection.
Anticipating staff sickness, NHSPS also recruited and trained 435 new employees to ensure smooth running of clinical services. Collaboration between the NHSPS’ asset management, construction and FM teams meant vacant and underused space was identified and assessed before recommissioning, being reconfigured and refurbished – often out of hours and during weekends – for more hospital beds and testing facilities.
With infection prevention and control standards top of mind, the FM team installed new heating systems, clinical-compliant sinks, fire compartments, lighting systems, signage, beds and mattresses, water systems and replacing flooring. At the time of submitting this award entry, NHSPS had:
- Handed over 29 sites to local NHS bodies;
- Created space for 1,036 beds for patient treatment;
- Completed jobs in record time;
- Delivered 300 solutions for other space requests from NHS commissioners and healthcare providers.
Keeping good work going
Lloyds Banking Group and Mitie
When the pandemic struck, Lloyds Banking Group needed to keep its banks open to support customers and continue providing financial services. This required the maintenance of more than 1,600 branches, and over 100 offices and data centres. The FM function came to the forefront of organisational decision-making. Service partner Mitie helped Lloyds maintain productive, connected and safe working environments for employees, customers and remote staff.
The team, under head of FM Marie Flint, followed a strategic model to: keep all in-use premises safe for employees and customers, moving thousands of chairs, desks and IT kit to support social distancing while displaying wposters and floor markers to guide people; launch a new hygiene regime, with 81,000 enhanced branch cleans and 4,700 enhanced office cleans by mid July; keep branches open wherever possible; hibernate but maintain 16 buildings for fast reoccupation; launch delivery service of workstation equipment for the sudden rise of 35,000 colleagues working from home; and set up five PPE distribution hubs.
A joint incident management team, comprising staff from all levels of Lloyds and Mitie, held daily calls to respond quickly and expedite decision-making. The team delivered a rapid response through its strategic model, creating a ‘one team’ ethic that could withstand the various challenges and be responsive when making decisions, flexing the service with colleagues at all levels working ‘hands on’ to deliver.
Adapting to new realities
University of Greenwich IFM Mobilisation – Sodexo Ltd, The University of Greenwich and Gardiner & Theobald LLP
In February, the University of Greenwich, supported by consultants Gardiner & Theobald (G&T), awarded an integrated facilities management (IFM) contract to Sodexo. It was to mean fundamental change to how FM is delivered across the University’s estate, involving more than 150 suppliers.
The IFM contract was due to go-live on 18 May 2020, requiring the mobilisation of more than 10 service lines and the transferring of almost 300 staff, while maintaining essential services across three campuses without access to site. But five weeks into the three-month mobilisation programme, lockdown occurred.
A concerted effort was required to continue towards the deadline despite the challenges and unknowns ahead. All parties worked to facilitate key mobilisation milestones without any template or prototype to rely on.
Activities included creating a mobilisation continuity plan to run alongside the University’s business continuity plan; developing an interim IFM service scope to enable go-live under lockdown; prioritising the safety of FM staff and students while maintaining the security of the estate; establishing a phased re-commissioning plan in line with the government’s recovery strategy; and moving to virtual TUPE consultation, recruitment and training.
As planned, the contract went live on 18 May. 280 staff were transferred to Sodexo, 16 new starters commenced, 4,000 risk assessments were completed and 800 helpdesk jobs logged The more than 100 staff, led by a core joint mobilisation team, made the impossible possible.
Find out more
These entries were chosen from nearly 70 received for the Covid-19 Response Award. Facilitate is showcasing the stories behind all of them on our Facilitate Daily newsletter, while there are extended versions of each of all our IWFM Awards 2020 features on www.facilitatemagazine.com