Paul Anstey, CEO, government and agencies, Sodexo UK & Ireland talks about the organisation’s continued support to the UK Armed Forces and how it is continuing in its commitment as a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant.

Paul AnsteyThis is an important week and one our teams respect and work hard to support our clients in the defence sector and the entire Armed Forces community.  

Sodexo’s teams across the country support the military in their daily lives all year round and as we navigate our way through this national crisis, the demands on the military are even greater.  

To mark Armed Forces Day I wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate and thank our people who are continuing to live our values during these challenging times.

We have received some amazing feedback about our colleagues hard work, determination and commitment to supporting the UK Armed Forces community.  

This year is unlike any other and our teams are continuing to support the UK Armed Forces as they play their part in the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The UK Armed Forces are distributing personal protective equipment (PPE), setting up temporary hospitals, supporting the Covid-19 testing centres and providing isolation units and air ambulance services.

There are many stories about our colleagues and we are proud of them all.

Bimila Thalpa

Bimala Thalpa is a cleaner working at one of our large army contracts. Normally Bimala delivers cleaning services as part of a team of three at a number of military buildings, including an important army headquarters building.  Despite her two other team members not being able to work because of the coronavirus, Bimala has continued to work and has ensured the standards of cleanliness have been maintained as well as often fulfilling additional tasks when asked. 

Her polite, cheerful and diligent manner has been recognised and we were thrilled to hear that Bimala was put forward and received a commendation from the commander.

linda  gardinerLinda Gardiner has also been recognised by her client, receiving a medal of thanks for baking cakes and cookies in her own time for her colleagues and customers to maintain morale.

Our team at one Army base where the personnel responsible for co-ordinating the Army’s support to civil authorities has also gone above and beyond over the last few months. The team been providing additional services including longer opening hours of the café to include weekends, adding new vending machines, redeploying catering equipment from sites that have closed, and increasing cleaning services to seven days-and-nights a week to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

Aidan Murphy, Operations Director (East) from our client Aspire Defence Services Ltd has said of the team: “During this time the collaborative working between our team and Sodexo has been simply amazing. I am extremely appreciative and grateful for the flexibility, agility, passion and empathy they have displayed. There have been so many individuals and teams in Sodexo that have gone well above the call of duty.”

Aspire Defence Services Ltd has recognised the team on its own website, you can read here the words of thanks.

Monty house

At another Army garrison, this time in the south east our team transformed a Junior Ranks Single Living Accommodation into an isolation block within 24 hours. They worked through the night to clean and prepare the rooms for occupation whilst also preparing facilities for teams working to support the regional Ambulance Service. Members of the same team also provided support for the Covid-19 rapid testing centre at Stansted Airport; all this over and above their usual roles supporting our customers on the base.

There are many more stories from our teams and I thank every single one of them for living our values and continuing to provide valuable support to the UK Armed Forces, this includes those colleagues who serve in the Reserve Forces and have mobilised to support the national Covid-19 effort. 

As we mark Armed Forces Day 2020 I not only salute all armed forces personnel but everyone who has provided services which has helped them play their role in the national effort to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to support them as we adjust to a new normal.

To read more about how we support the UK Armed Forces click here.

June 26, 2020

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