We have never experienced a situation before where many of our clients have closed their doors. But where sites have closed, others are needing more support. Our HR teams have been working tirelessly to redeploy people to where they are needed most.
To date (21 April) we have some 400 colleagues redeployed, and we thank them all for their commitment to helping support the national Covid-19 effort.
Hospital maintenance teams are crucial. They are working hard to ensure hospitals are able to function throughout the pandemic. Whilst the core team focus on the priority tasks redeployed FM colleagues are stepping in to help with the equally important day-to-day tasks.
John Greenaway (below) is the lead engineer for a corporate services client whose London offices have closed. He has been redeployed to Kings College Hospital where Sodexo also manages facilities management services for the Golden Jubilee Wing.
For the last four weeks John has been providing the hard services team on-site with additional support. He says: “Going from a media environment to a hospital in the middle of all this was a real eye opener for me, especially seeing the impact of Coronavirus first-hand. Regardless of the situation, life goes on and we all must step up and do what’s needed. Unlike other industries the team here cannot just down tools, the building still needs to be maintained and reactive jobs will still keep coming in. It’s made me realise that it doesn’t matter what job role you have, we all have our part to play supporting the NHS.”
Yousif Haddouche (below) ordinarily works as a security guard at the National Gallery in central London for our sports & leisure business. Yousif has been redeployed to support the team at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Roehampton with security but he has also stepped in to help the portering team when needed.
Bryan Petch, Sodexo’s portering and security manager said, “Yousif has been an outstanding member of the team. I say team because he has fitted in so well with all our staff even though he is working with the porters and not in his natural job as a security officer. He is always willing to help, is polite and hard working.”
Our teams continue to provide catering at hospitals across the country. We have had to simplify the menu to cope with the current situation but have maintained the necessary British Dietary Association guidelines for patient foods and ensured all food has detailed allergen information. This is a key part of maintaining the service using in many hospitals’ colleagues redeployed from other parts of our business.
Sodexo’s chef manager, Carol Gourd (below) has redeployed to Queen’s Hospital in Romford to operate as a host, serving food to patients following the closure of the two corporate services sites she is employed to oversee in Basildon and Southend.
Working in the healthcare industry, particularly at this time, has been an eye-opener for Carol but she has enjoyed contributing to her local hospital in the fight against Coronavirus.“It puts what Healthcare do on a day-to-day basis into perspective,” said Carol. “I have no previous experience of working in a hospital environment and it’s completely different. It’s a massive shock to the system of course, but it’s also rewarding to think you can help a little. So far, I am finding my feet. It’s a challenge but I will take it day by day. I’ve enjoyed meeting new people and feeling like you are somehow contributing to a great cause.”
Carol helps to serve between 20 and 30 patients at lunch time, all of whom have contracted Coronavirus and are part of a specialist ward. She is required to wear a mask, disposable gloves and apron which she then has to change after each room she has visited.
Charlotte Foy (below) is one of our valued casual employees. Charlotte is one of our hospitality staff members at Everton Football Club and has been redeployed as a barista at Warrington Hospital.
Despite not having any previous experience in coffee making, Charlotte stepped in to a supervisor role during her first week at the hospital covering for staff in self-isolation, and has learned to use their new till system, run the evening shifts as shift leader and offer training and support to the rest of the team among other duties.
Charlotte is delighted to be working in a hospital environment supporting Sodexo’s Healthcare segment. One of her career goals is to work in the NHS, something Charlotte is well on her way to doing as she heads towards the end of her second year on a Biomedical Science degree at Liverpool John Moores University.
Charlotte said: “I would highly recommend taking up the opportunity to redeploy. I feel like I’m doing my bit. When driving home from the hospital on a Thursday night, I see people in the streets clapping for the NHS workers and it’s inspiring knowing I’m there supporting them.”