A news round-up of stories in the FM sector
Cleaning and support services company NJC has launched NJC Assure to help companies and their employees return stronger from the pandemic. NJC Assure helps to build confidence in a safe return to work by bringing all pandemic-secure cleaning and validation processes together in one location. It includes the planning, risk assessment, enhanced cleaning, disinfection, scientific testing and service confirmation processes to deliver a hygienically clean, welcoming and intrinsically safe environment. Surveys have indicated that employees are concerned about returning to their workplace and that regular, thorough cleaning has the greatest impacts on how safe they feel and many said they would feel safer if their employer used data to show the healthiness of the building. NJC’s managing director Paul Crilly said: “NJC Assure combines the optimum combination of daily cleaning, specialist support services and validation processes to keep people safe and help them to feel safe. Robust surface cleanliness testing provides data for our customers to communicate to building users, to reassure and build confidence.”
Morgan Sindall Property Services (MSPS) is now certified as a social value organisation after achieving over £1.8 million in social value created through community programmes across eight contracts from April 2020-March 2021. The impact of this social investment was measured using the Wellbeing Valuation Approach from HACT, the housing sector’s ideas and innovation agency. The valuation confirmed that for each £1 MSPS spends, it generates £12 in social value for its people and communities. The HACT values provide an assessment of social impact, value for money, and compare the impact of different MSPS programmes on people and communities. During the pandemic, the social value team at MSPS continued to deliver social value through its education and employment programmes across the UK. Schemes included energy cafés, supporting those affected by fuel poverty as a result of Covid-19, virtual work experience for students, work-to-learn programmes, apprenticeship programmes, mentoring sessions and over £27,000 in charity donations.
Defence and government caterer ESS has collaborated with Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton and the DIO to create the Community Store. The self-service convenience outlet is underpinned by a strong commitment to enhancing the lives of the site population through engagement and partnering with local initiatives and charities. The store offers fresh food to go, made in house, under the Deli Delicious brand, and brands such as Starbucks, Co-op, F’real and Chicago Town pizzas. It also meets the ‘food for later’ needs of customers with a range of ambient, chilled and frozen products, plus non-food items. Multiple self-service cashless tills cut queuing. A host guides and assists customers on the shop floor rather than from behind a till, following social distancing guidelines. The store replaces an old shop that was in poor condition and no longer fit for purpose. ESS and partners have delivered a modern new facility which is double the size, with full kitchen facilities.
Norse Group is deploying rapid community testing teams to help stem the spread of Covid-19 in Norfolk. Its new Lateral Flow Response Team is setting up testing units capable of a 30-minute results turnaround, helping to quickly identify asymptomatic cases. With the ability to mobilise temporary, small testing hubs within 48 hours, the team can be dispatched to ‘hotspots’ where there is concern about a community outbreak or a higher rate of transmission. The programme is being delivered on behalf of Norfolk County Council and Public Health England to complement wider testing. More than 11,000 tests had been conducted at 59 sites across Norfolk by mid-April. Steve Atkins, Norse project manager, explained: “The aim is to find those who have Covid but are without symptoms, perhaps in a location where we know lots of other people have tested positive.”
Mitie and The Co-op are rolling out handheld SmartTag forensic spray to deter attacks on shopworkers and curb violent crime. The Co-op is the first large retailer to see security officers equipped with a new forensic spray designed to deter attacks on frontline shopworkers and curb rising levels of violent crime. In extreme circumstances, security officers can spray violent offenders with SmartWater, which provides evidence for the police. The move comes against a backdrop of rising levels of crime against shopworkers. Trials in South Yorkshire have shown SmartTag to calm potentially violent incidents. The technology will be used by Mitie security officers in about 400 stores.
Corps Security is giving its female employees free personal security protection to keep them safe following the death of Sarah Everard. More than 300 Corps Security staff across the UK – office-based and frontline officers – will be provided with the Corps Guard app. The app can be downloaded onto any smartphone and provides support in the event of an emergency. It’s particularly useful for people travelling alone during unsocial hours. The tool complements Corps’ existing lone worker security support and is ideal for people’s personal use in the evenings and at weekends. The app transmits a signal to the Corps Monitoring Centre in Glasgow and trained operators begin tracking the person’s movements. Tapping the smartphone or pressing the Corps Guard Bluetooth wristband instantaneously sends an alert to the centre and emergency contacts. The alert has a tracking facility that displays the GPS location. Depending on the type of alert, the monitoring centre will either try to contact the person to determine the situation, contact the nearest member of the security team if the user is on-site, or contact the police. The user’s mobile phone automatically sends audio and video footage to the monitoring centre. This can be used to identify an assailant and used in court. The audio-visual recording is uploaded automatically to the user’s account via the cloud and onto Corps Monitoring Centre’s system, so the evidence remains accessible.
Carlisle Support Services has launched a new initiative through the operations workstream of Project Why. From next Monday (26 April) a new call recording software will be implemented at the FM provider’s central support centre, at its Luton HQ. All incoming and outgoing calls from the support centre will be recorded as a tool to aid training, development, and performance management of the company’s team of resource coordinators. The benefits to Carlisle Support Services will be improved customer service; quality control of services provided to employees, clients, and members of the public; individualised employee feedback; and possible business protection during disputes.