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Interserve shift supervisor talks of Covid-19 response at Charing Cross

Interserve shift supervisor, Karim Haroun, is one of 17 colleagues keeping London’s Charing Cross station in the best possible condition as part of the UK’s response to Covid-19.

Haroun, who has been with the company for six-years, supervises a team of six people on the morning shift who clean the station and its toilets, office blocks and the concourse.

Interserve delivers cleaning and deep cleans around the clock for Network Rail at nine of the capital’s busiest stations, including Euston, Victoria and Waterloo. Services also include waste services, cleaning washrooms and pest control.

Following the Covid-19 outbreak the team has increased operations and is concentrating on common touch points across the estate.

Haroun said: “We are focused, and I am proud of the work my team is doing and to be part of Interserve’s response to Covid-19.

“Doors, handrails, handles – we are cleaning touchpoints all the time and doing everything we can to maintain the best possible environment.

“It is strange to see the station so quiet. There are a couple of busy periods each day, but it is eerie to see it after the morning rush.”

While the UK Government has ordered all but essential businesses to close, some public transport is being used by critical workers so they can get to the nation’s hospitals, healthcare facilities, supermarkets and other designated key services.

Haroun added: “I know that what we are doing matters. It was tough initially because we were all uncertain about infection, but Interserve keeps us informed and I feel confident in the approach we are taking.

“It’s also heart-warming that we are getting so much positive feedback from passers-by. People are saying ‘thank you’ and are being very appreciative about what we are doing.

“That matters a lot. People now recognise how important cleaners are. This is my contribution to society, and I am pleased it is being recognised.”

Charlene Wallace, Network Rail’s National Passenger and Customer Experience Director, said: “Railway staff are among those classed as critical workers by the UK Government during this challenging time, working to provide a safe and reliable railway for those passengers who still need to travel by rail, and to help move essential goods such as food and medicine.

“We thank Karim and his colleagues for the essential cleaning service they are providing, helping to keep our stations in the best possible condition for those who are still relying on rail travel.”

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