Cry Heart of London Bridges Walk

Congratulations to three of our staff members, who completed the 9th annual CRY Heart of London Bridges walk on Saturday 28th June to raise funds & awareness for the CRY organisation. Walkers gathered at the Embankment at 11.00 a.m. to walk 8km (just under 5 miles), crossing 7 Thames bridges & taking in some great views of at least 12 of London’s famous landmarks, including County Hall, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Somerset House, St Paul’s Cathedral, Royal Festival Hall, the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Southwark Cathedral, the Tower of London, City Hall & HMS Belfast. The landmarks represent the 12 young sudden cardiac deaths that occur each week in the UK.

Our Residential workshop has moved from Binfield to Woodley.

We have moved our workshop facilities to new premises in Woodley, but we are still able to accommodate the cleaning of rugs, we can either arrange to collect your rugs from your home or you can drop off your rugs for cleaning in our workshop if you prefer.  Please call us on your local office number to arrange for an appointment or an assessment on your rug.

Telephone: 01635 40400 or 01628 821111

Marian E Wade award

We are delighted to announce that Deeland Ltd t/a ServiceMaster has been awarded the Marion E. Wade award of excellence for 2013. This prestigious award distinguishes us as the best in the ServiceMaster franchise network and rewards high achievement in the pursuit of excellence and professional management in the ServiceMaster tradition. It is indeed an honour to have been awarded the Marion E. Wade award three times in 16 years.  We would like to thank all of our staff for their continued hard work and high standards, which have contributed to this success, and hope to continue delivering high standards to our customers.

Pig racing and toasts for Shirley Ellis

At the beginning of October, we celebrated the new adventure ahead for our HR and Business Services Manager Shirley Ellis as she takes early retirement to Sweden.  Of course, we were all sad to see her depart as Shirley has been a key member of the ServiceMaster team for over 8 years. To give her a great send-off in recognition of all she has achieved, we held a party in our large meeting room, featuring pig racing, a buffet, toasts and a few tears. The pig racing went down a storm, with one of our Area Managers transforming into a Worzel Gummidge character to compere the event.  The evening went well with speeches from Shirley and Nick Dee Shapland, MD, wishing Shirley and husband David every happiness.  Juanita Holloway has now stepped up to become HR Manager and is enjoying her new challenge.

ServiceMaster raises a mug to Macmillan cancer care.

On 26th September, ServiceMaster joined forces with companies and supporters around the country to bake, eat and donate for Macmillan. We all donned our aprons and wooden spoons to put our culinary skills to the test to raise money for the fantastic charity that cares for people living with cancer and their loved ones, which will affect 1 in 3 of us during our lifetime. All morning we welcomed guests from local businesses, residents, and passing traffic to our offices where we had a café area set up, with over 30 types of cakes and pastries, and hot drinks on tap. Towards the end of the event, a few staff members wandered the streets in the local areas with boxes of cakes, enticing people that couldn’t get away from their desks. For the customers who could make it into the offices, there was a raffle for the chance to win one of several prizes kindly donated by our colleagues and supporters. The prizes included an MOT, Diamond earrings, two bottles of Prosecco, and a remote controlled helicopter, and more. At the 2013 Macmillan coffee morning, ServiceMaster raised a total of £364, and this year we aimed to beat that total. This year, with the raffle and cake sales, ServiceMaster raised £504, beating last year’s sum by a long way. The money raised by our kind supporters will help support and advise people living with cancer across the UK.

World Cup fever strikes England

Only a few weeks ago, the tabloids told us that England has the best World Cup squad in years. This gave fans the confidence to dress their homes and cars with St George flags and wear football shirts on even non-match days. The past weeks have been full of late-night football games, office sweepstakes and watching games where England isn’t involved. World Cup fever has divided a nation. The half that waves a flag at any opportunity, wearing facepaint and watching all games at every hour of the day and announcing the latest scores, have spent the summer in football heaven. The other half of the nation either don’t care about the sporting event, or despise it for playing havoc with TV scheduling and dominating conversations of loved ones. The best displays of patriotism are shown around sporting and national events, if you cast your minds back to the Olympics of 2012, Royal wedding and Diamond Jubilee, you will most likely remember the sea of Union Jacks waving frantically on our TV screens oozing pride and patriotism. On a normal day without big national events, we rarely see the St George cross or Union Jack adorning neighbours windows and car wing mirrors. The lack of acknowledgement points to a confusion in allegiances. As King Henry IV said: “Patriotism must be founded on great principals and supported by great virtue”. Because however you show support for your country, it should be shown consistently. Show the world you care, don’t wait for certain events to sing the praises of what you love. As for the World Cup, whether you are gripped by football fever or are sick of the sound of whistles, remember that from 13th July it will all be over for another four years!

Famous First Jobs

In a time of financial and career uncertainty, there are few jobs which last the test of time and external constraints. People don’t like to work in a messy environment, and when things get too messy and cluttered tensions can arise and the blame game starts. Luckily, by employing cleaners, workplaces can run seamlessly and can be cleaned in or around the business working hours. A lot of our cleaners are people working to top up their pensions, or returning to work by starting with a part-time role, working to supplement wages from other jobs, and students working to fund study, as well as many other walks of life. Cleaning is a role that suits people from all backgrounds, and opens doors to a range of opportunities. People that have started their professional lives in cleaning and have gone on to other careers include Sylvester Stallone who cleaned out a lion enclosure but is better known for cleaning up in a boxing ring as Rocky Balboa, and Stephen King, who was a cleaner in a high school to fund his degree. It was here he came up with the story behind Carrie, a high school student with psychic powers, which became one of the most well-known horror stories with film adaptations. Jim Carrey left school at 15 to help his father earn money for the family by cleaning at a school. He would rehearse his stand-up routines while scrubbing the gymnasium floor, which eventually led to him being one of the most successful comedians and earning a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. Michael Dell, the Founder and CEO of DELL Inc, one of the leading names in computers funded his degree by washing dishes at a Chinese restaurant in Austin Texas. He later dropped out of university and is now the 41st richest person in the world according to Forbes. We love a success story at ServiceMaster, and nurturing the talents of our staff. The person who cleans your office or removes stains from your rugs could be a future billionaire or film star!

 

May brings out the best of barmy Britain

As we mark the start of summer with two bank holidays in May, we have a chance to spend quality time with our friends and family, and see some of what makes Britain great. With any luck, the weather stays dry and the beautiful areas around the south of England are more enjoyable bathed in the early glow of summer. As well as trips to the coast and national parks, there are hundreds of events taking place all across the country suited to all ages and interests. One of the quirkier events-Cheese rolling in Gloucestershire- attracts crowds from as far afield as New Zealand and South Africa and involves tumbling down a steep hill chasing a ball of cheese. The event always gets great feedback and is not for the faint-hearted, although fun to watch! In London, the last weekend hosts RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which draws in green-fingered audiences from across Europe. We love May and all it brings; the promise of a balmy summer and the barbeques and events that we look forward to throughout the wet and windy winter. If the weather disappoints, there is always the option of cleaning out the house, donating old clothes to charity, and making some space for a new summer wardrobe or garden furniture. Although, you can always count on great British optimism to encourage droves of city dwellers to sit on the beach wrapped in thermals and blankets with ice-creams in hand.

Start of a new financial year

At ServiceMaster Thames Valley HQ, we’re always working with new business aims and targets for the year ahead, for promotions and clients, as well as our more personal targets, including our internal slimming club, and personal progression. As the days are getting longer again, we feel more energetic, and have another year of opportunities ahead of us. A whole summer of holidays, sport, bank holidays, barbeques and festivals reward us for our hard work throughout the year, and act as incentives for those days when life just feels too much. At ServiceMaster Clean, we appreciate the value of maintaining a healthy work/life balance and enjoy our time at work as much as our treasured weekends and holidays. We are lucky to have a great support network of staff across our region, so it’s impossible to feel overwhelmed or burdened for long before someone asks if they can help. It’s this personal relationship that makes the difference between a job for money, and a career for enjoyment. We always strive to make the working environment enjoyable for everyone around us, which is reflected in the way our colleagues start and finish work with a spring in their step.

March 2014: Sochi Winter Paralympics

We have fond memories of the Olympics and Paralympics in London two years ago. For a summer, our public transport ran more efficiently than ever, Union Jacks were flying proudly everywhere you looked, and people were talking about unheard of sports-Slalom, anyone? The opening and closing ceremonies were broadcast on the BBC to record-breaking audience figures, and the crowds died down for a recess before the Paralympics two weeks later. Channel 4 won the rights to broadcast the Paralympics and launched one of the biggest advertising and social media campaigns in history; ‘Meet the superhumans’ an homage to the stars of the show including Ellie Simmonds, Sarah Storey, and David Weir among others, telling the stories of how they got to the games and demonstrating their strengths.

Because of the strong advertising campaign and the momentum it built, the Paralympic coverage was the highest rated show on Channel 4 in 2012. Previous to this, in Beijing and before, the Paralympics were just a blip on the radar of broadcasters and audiences. As well as becoming the most successful Paralympics in history by viewership, the success of the 2012 games has spawned TV shows including The Last Leg featuring comedians with varying disabilities debating weekly topics, and turned some of the paralympians into household names. The Olympic legacy lives on, as we are now facing the Sochi Paralympic winter games, hoping for the first winter Paralympic gold for team GB. Despite controversy surrounding the venue choice, the games will be shown by Channel 4 again, continuing our appreciation of the underdog. The ‘superhuman’ strength and abilities of our sports personalities demonstrates the ability to achieve against all odds, and inspired a nation to try something new, giving us the attitude ‘If they can do it…so can we’ Long may the legacy continue, reminding us that anything is possible if we try hard enough.