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27 Jan 2023

Welcome to this week’s Grapevine, the place to get your bitesize FM updates in one place, in a handy five-minute read.

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How Eurest Helped Heathrow Deliver a Free Food Scheme

With the winter in full swing and a cost-of-living crisis raging, Heathrow Airport has launched a free meal scheme for all their colleagues, with the help of contract catering partner Eurest. 

The airport wanted to offer every single colleague on site access to a daily free meal and a free hot drink to keep them well fed and make a small difference in difficult times. 

As the on-site contract caterer for Heathrow, Eurest was well placed to help and, with a need to act quickly, was able to turn around the entire operation in only four weeks.  

That was despite huge logistical challenges, including having to hurriedly re-open workplace restaurants which had been closed since the pandemic – ready for increased demand. 

Tom Bonner, Contract Director, Eurest, said: “We’re proud to say that, thanks to the hard work of so many people, we rose to that challenge. 

“Heathrow Airport Ltd colleagues can now access one square meal and a hot drink for free every time they come on shift - already more than 241,000 vouchers have been redeemed.  

“Any solution was never going to be simple. We have more than 100 different clients across the airport and needed to reach them all while maintaining speed of service. But we developed an app-based voucher solution which has proved hugely popular.” 

Heathrow’s 6,000 colleagues can now access two daily vouchers on their app, one for food and one for a hot drink, which can be used at any time during their shift – whether that is breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

Fraser Brown, Heathrow’s Retail Director said: “I am extremely grateful for our partners at Eurest for helping us to roll out free hot meals for every Heathrow Airport Ltd colleague during their working day, as a temporary cost of living measure this winter.  

“The scheme has seen 93% of Heathrow colleagues take up the offer as part of a range of support procedures. Without Eurest’s cooperation this would not have been possible, so thank you to Morag and the team for their support.” 

Eurest brought in food vans to ensure every part of the airport was served and even created a special menu for the on-site fire station, delivering raw ingredients for firefighters to cook themselves. 

When you add in increased labour requirements, colleague training and app development, it was an incredible undertaking in a very short timescale.

“We are so happy with the way it turned out,” said Tom.  

“There were some significant challenges. Compass Centre, the 2,000-cover workplace restaurant in head office at Heathrow, was half-way through a refurb when it closed because of the pandemic. 

“So, that had to be completed in double-quick time - including a new floor put down. 

“We’re proud to say it was open by November, in time for the Christmas rush, so Christmas lunches were covered by the free food voucher too.” 

Free Period Products as PerfectHygiene Secures Three-Year Deal With the University of St Andrews

Thousands of students are to benefit from extended access to free period products at the University of St Andrews thanks to North-east washroom services company, PerfectHygiene.

As part of the three-year agreement, PerfectHygiene has installed and will maintain 40 free-vend period product machines throughout the university campus, in an effort to make free period products more easily accessible for all.

The UK-manufactured dispensers are wall-mounted and are designed to hold both sanitary towels and tampons in packs of three to save contamination. They come in two sizes – mini-vend and maxi-vend machines and each pack is 100% recyclable and biodegradable.

Free-vend machines have been in place at The University of St Andrews since 2018. PerfectHygiene has recently supplied 25 mini-vend and 15 maxi-vend machines across its campus to extend this service, almost doubling its provision from 22 free-vend machines.

PerfectHygiene has had bespoke design modifications made to the mini-vend machines so that the user can see the volume of products on the inside – making it easier to know when the machine needs refilled ensuring products are always available when required. The University of St Andrews is the first university in the UK to implement this custom-made machine.

The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act was introduced in January 2021 and ensures that everyone in Scotland who menstruates can have reasonably convenient access to period products, free of charge, as and when they are required.

Steve Kennedy, managing director of PerfectHygiene, said: "We are honoured to be working with the University of St Andrews in an effort to help make free period products more accessible for students.

“These purpose-built dispensers are dignified and permanent – they’re not only fully integrated into the facility and its culture but also enable the university to be compliant with the Period Products Act.

PerfectHygiene is looking at a programme whereby businesses sponsor free-vend sanitary product machines and install them across various leisure centres and other community venues across Scotland.  

PerfectHygiene supports washroom services, hygiene material provisions - such as dispensers, hand sanitiser and paper towels - and waste management services. It also provides entrance mats.

PerfectHygiene and its sister company Perfectshine - a commercial and domestic window cleaning business - are part of the same operation based in Blackburn, just outside Aberdeen.

The University of St Andrews is Scotland's oldest university, having been founded in 1413.

Any company wishing to support the period programme should contact:

For more information on PerfectHygiene, please visit

Novus Celebrates Decade of Success With Fundraising Challenge

 Leading national maintenance, decarbonisation and compliance contractor Novus Property Solutions has committed to a year of internal recognition and fundraising in celebration of its tenth anniversary.

The company was launched as its own entity a decade ago but has a rich 125-year history as a family business. Currently owned by fourth and fifth generation Seddon family members, the business’ shareholders and Board are set to play an active role in both internal celebrations as well as fundraising activities.

Novus, which has a strong people-centric ethos, has been committed to delivering social value since its formation ten years ago, and launched its Build Back Better initiative in 2021. This social value initiative was launched to tackle some of the key issues faced by society today including reducing poverty and homelessness, and good health and wellbeing – which have inspired the two charities chosen to benefit from the company’s 2023 activities, Shelter and Lighthouse Club.

Shelter is a national charity that campaigns for housing justice while also offering practical support and advice. The Lighthouse Club reflects Novus’ roots in the construction industry, and is dedicated to supporting construction workers and their families both financially and emotionally.

As well as its fundraising efforts, including a monthly raffle prize draw where all proceeds will be donated to Shelter and Lighthouse Club, Novus will also be hosting colleague-centred celebrations such as its ‘Shining Stars’ employee of the month initiative, with an end-of-year ceremony to announce the chosen Shining Star. Celebrations for colleagues will also include a series of teambuilding days and good-natured competitive challenges between its regional offices across Great Britain.

Commenting on the 10-year anniversary, Sophie Seddon-Hall, Non-Executive Director at Novus Property Solutions said: “We’re incredibly proud to be celebrating a decade of Novus, and our success would not be possible without our highly valued clients and dedicated team of talented individuals.

“Our reputation for putting people at the heart of everything we do has without doubt contributed to our success over the past ten years, so it’s important that our celebrations centre on fundraising for two charities that epitomise our ethos. Both Shelter and Lighthouse Club will be more needed than ever in 2023 as communities continue to feel the effects of the cost-of-living crisis, so we’re aiming to raise as much money as possible throughout this milestone year.”

20 Jan 2023

Medirest and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust Continue Partnership for Further Five Years

Medirest, part of the healthcare sector of Compass Group UK & Ireland, is to continue its partnership with Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust for a further five years. The contract extension has been agreed based on Medirest’s consistent high level of service delivery, expertise and innovations across 52 sites, which span from the New Forest to Portsmouth, Petersfield and Alton.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust provides community health, mental health and learning disability services across Hampshire. It is one of the largest providers of such specialist services in England.

Medirest will continue to provide support services such as cleaning and portering – delivered by a 280 strong team. Investment has been committed as part of the new contract, with innovations including a cleaning robot, which enhances repetitive cleaning procedures in open spaces; an upgraded auditing system for cleaning that aligns with the 2021 National Cleaning Standards; frictionless facilities management technology linked to integrated workforce management solutions; implementation of a new laundry system for cleaning cloths and mop heads; and new iMops, which use fast brush rotations, that leave surfaces cleaner than other traditional methods.

Medirest will be introducing a digital time, attendance and scheduling system to support colleagues working on site. The team will also be improving the HSE oversight across the extensive geographical estate. 

The Positive Impressions programme, which underpins Healthcare’s purpose of “Performance with Heart”, focusing on patient satisfaction will also be rolled out over the coming months, with colleagues receiving the relevant training and sessions. Positive Impressions is designed to measure the patient experience and enhance patient-centred training, to help deliver care based on communication, awareness, respect and empathy.

Sybron Launches New Biotechnology Cleaning Range – SyBio

Sybron, a leading UK supplier of cleaning, hygiene, and catering products to some of the largest names in hospitality, has launched its first own brand with SyBio, a range of biotechnology-based cleaning products. Partnering with BioVate Hygienics, Sybron has developed a range of products that have replaced harmful, non-renewable chemicals with adaptive biotechnology that cleans, disinfects, and protects.

SyBio is a range of biotechnology-based products that combines probiotic, enzyme and plant-based ingredients to maximise performance with minimal environmental impact. The SyBio products consist of concentrated cleaners, sanitisers and detergents delivered through wall mounted dispensers for optimal dosage control.

“BioVate Hygienics has pioneered the evolution of biotechnology-based cleaning products and share our passion and forward thinking for sustainable cleaning and development of green cleaning methods,” explains George Mason, sales and marketing director, Sybron. “Our objectives for the range are to deliver environmentally friendly products that provide safer applications and improved performance along with reduced costs.”

“Our partnership with BioVate Hygienics provides the expertise and innovation that has enabled us to develop an extensive and diverse range to our clients,” continues George Mason.  “Developing our own range has given us more control to deliver specialist products for every cleaning requirement,” adds George Mason. “It also gave us the opportunity to offer a superior cleaning performance that is cost effective and with minimal impact on the environment.  All products are highly concentrated formulas, which based on cost in use figures provides a 15-20% saving against other ranges.”

SyBio uses plant-based & bio-based surfactants, utilising the latest biotechnology that mixes natural enzymes and bacteria, which has 30 times more actives than any other biotechnology-based cleaning range. What is more, using SyBio provides long term protection for surfaces through a residual clean. After use, SyBio leaves a layer of good bacteria that protects surfaces against dirt and pathogens for up to 30 days.

Swansea City Back in Levy UK+I Portfolio

Levy UK + Ireland, the sports and entertainment division of Compass Group UK & Ireland, adds Swansea City A.F.C. back into its Welsh stadia portfolio, joining Cardiff City Stadium and the Principality Stadium. Regional sourcing and sustainability credentials were fundamental to the long-term contract.

The stadia specialists previously worked with Swansea City when the stadium was opened in 2005, and will provide matchday experiences, plus conference and events catering. Levy UK+I will work closely with Compass Cymru MD, Jane Byrd, who oversees all Levy sites based in Wales – the Swansea City business will work directly with Jane and her team.

Working with Compass Cymru brings huge benefits when it comes to partnering with trusted suppliers. The business is committed to regional sourcing in Wales and works with consortiums, which gives them access to a vast network of local suppliers from fruit and vegetables to meat.

Swansea City was impressed with the Climate Net Zero targets Levy UK+I have in place, and this was crucial when looking for a new partner. Increasing plant-based menu options, reducing single-use plastics and food waste are all priorities for the club going forward. 

Enhancing the fan experience through speed of service will be a priority in the summer break. Supporters will be able to order and pay for pre-match and half-time refreshments in one transaction through self-order units, minimising queue times. This will be in place for the start of the 2023/24 season.