Rochdale Borough Council has won a national competition organised by the Association of Building Cleaning Direct Service Providers (ABCD) to promote good practice in local authority cleaning services.
Nottinghamshire County Council came second in the ABCD’s Initiatives Competition 2020, which was supported by the British Cleaning Council (BCC).
ABCD is the organisation for local government cleaning managers but also has a number of suppliers and trainers from the industry as members. It is a member of the BCC, which is the industry body representing the entire cleaning and hygiene sector.
The winning entry came from Rochdale Borough Council’s Facilities Management cleaning service.
The service works in partnership with Redwood Secondary School, a local school which supports young people with special needs, to offer an intern a cleaning work placement one day per week over a six-month period.
Redwood students aged between 16 and 19 years old are eligible to take part in the project, which takes them on a journey towards sustainable paid employment.
The course develops their skills and employability through school-based learning, work-room activities, accreditation and work placements.
ABCD Chair and Vice Chair Kim Phillips, of Rotherham Borough Council, and Jacky Hammett, of Shropshire Council, judged the competition. In a joint statement, they said: “We are pleased to be able to properly acknowledge and celebrate all the great work being carried out by local councils in delivering essential cleaning services through this competition, particularly during this most difficult of all times.
“The Rochdale entry gave a different dimension to the cleaning role, as a buddy, which offers staff development to existing cleaning operatives whilst giving a really good opportunity for new entrants to the cleaning industry.
“The Nottingham entry is also really good and the fantastic work from this team has ensured that the transport hub remains safe for all users and key workers to confidently use and safely attend their place of work during the pandemic.”
Peter Gurney, Facilities Manager Catering and Cleaning, at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “On behalf of the cleaning/caretaking Facilities Management service at Rochdale Council, we are delighted to have been chosen as the winners of the ABCD’s Initiatives Competition 2020.
“As a service and council, we strongly support inclusion and being able to work in partnership with Redwood Secondary School, which supports young people with special needs, is truly humbling.
“The service and the council are committed to continuing partnership working with Redwood School.
“Since its inception in 2013 the service has supported over 10 interns and we are currently working alongside other services showcasing the benefits of working with these students who would not normally be given the opportunity to gain mainstream employment.
“The service is keen to emphasise that this is a two-way partnership and we have found the inspiring work ethic of the interns can often have a positive effect on the whole workforce.”
Mark Herring, Team Manager, Facilities Services, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Nottinghamshire County Council’s Facilities Service is delighted to be the recipient of the runner up position for this year’s ABCD Initiatives Competition.
“We are very proud of the work our team is undertaking within Mansfield Bus Station and the partnership between Facilities and Transport Services to help provide a modern, clean and safe environment for the Mansfield Community and their public transport needs.
“The award is testament to the hard work of all frontline employees working within the station.”
The awards will be presented in person when Coronavirus restrictions have been lifted.