The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community


24 May 2024

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

Got a story for us? Please send news stories & press releases to:

Corps Wins Challenge Event of the Year at the Business Charity Awards

Corps Security has won the Challenge Event of the Year at Third Sector’s Business Charity Awards for its Tour de Corps fundraiser for Combat Stress. The fundraiser was a 750-mile countrywide cycling tour of all Corps mainland offices, starting on April 23rd 2023 in Glasgow and concluding in London.

Corps Security won the award because of the intensity of the challenge, and for exceeding its initial £5,000 fundraising target by over double.  In seven days, the Torps de Corps cyclists combatted snow and rain to cover 750 miles, at times reaching nearly 10,000m above sea level as they wound their way through the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and the Brecon Beacons. In total, the group raised £11,500 for Corps’ nominated charity, Combat Stress.

Combat Stress is the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health, which supports ex-military men and women with the effects of their service, including trauma and PTSD. The challenge’s main objective was to raise as much money as possible for the charity and bring Corps colleagues together to inspire camaraderie and teamwork.

The team planned their entire trip a year in advance – creating an itinerary, training and preparing. All Corps colleagues were welcome to join, and some individuals joined the team for the shorter legs of the challenge. Andy Topp, Rob Hill, Scott Hudson, Carly Bedford, and Dale Johnson all took part in the long journey. They were followed by a volunteer team of drivers, logistics support, and welfare/first aid along the way.

At the awards, Corps commercial manager Scott Hudson, who had completed the entire cycle, and Maggie Mills, corporate fundraiser for Combat Stress were in attendance. They accepted the award as a tribute to the strong relationship between the two organisations.

Andy Topp, sales and marketing director for Corps said, “It is an honour to receive recognition for an incredible effort from the Tour de Corps team.  Corps wanted to support the fundraiser as much as possible right from the beginning, providing all accommodation and support to the incredible group of cyclists.

“We were really tested with regular 5am training starts and seven days of tough weather, huge areas covered, and even larger heights reached. This achievement has strengthened our relationship with Combat Stress, and it was an honour to help raise money to save lives.”

Garry Burns, head of corporate partnerships and events at Combat Stress said “We’re thrilled that Corps Security's 1200km cycling challenge has been recognised as the Challenge Event of the Year at the Business Charity Awards 2024. Since our partnership began in 2015, Corps has raised nearly £90,000, supporting veterans' mental health and highlighting our shared mission to improve the lives of those who have served."

Chequers Partners with East Sussex County Council to Support the Turtle Dove Population

The turtle dove is a vulnerable species whose population has decreased by 99% since 1960. Landscaping and arboriculture service provider Chequers has partnered with the grounds maintenance team at East Sussex County Council (GM02) on a project that aims to increase the turtle dove population.

The campaign is being run by GM02. A key reason that Chequers was chosen to support it is due to its long-standing commitment to sustainable practices that benefit the natural environment.

Turtle doves thrive in wildflower meadows with cultivated margins. The first stage of the project will be to treat the topsoil, to reduce any chance of weeds and providing an optimal environmental for the flowers to grow in. These areas will be maintained by Chequers and GM02, to develop spaces that will increase wildflower population and biodiversity in East Sussex. Turtle Doves are not the only animal to benefit, as an increased wildflower population also support bumblebees, butterflies, and insects, which in turn feed bats and other bird species. 

Work is already underway, including at The Paddock in Lewes where Chequers has prepared the ground and planted wild seed. Councillor Maples from East Sussex County Council was present to mark the occasion, along with representatives from the Wildlife Trust and Operation Turtle Dove.

Naomi Childe, managing director at Chequers, said: “We are proud to support this initiative to save a native UK species. Our services and work methodology are always adaptable due to the changing climate. It was great to get underway in Lewes and we’re looking forward to supporting the project across East Sussex.

Thomas Golby, contract officer grounds and arboriculture at GM02, said: “We are fortunate to have support to save the turtle dove. Chequers has demonstrated time and time again its desire to maintain and preserve good management practises to help towards the changing climate and environment. The project’s proactive stance on enhancing our local wildlife, by providing sustainable habitats for native animals, makes Chequers the perfect partner.”

If anyone in the community would like to support the project, they can contact GM02 with any potential sightings of turtle doves (photos are helpful but not necessary), as well as a what3words location and informing if any wildflowers were seen nearby. Turtle doves can be identified with turtle shell-coloured wings and black to silver strip on their necks. Those who have had sightings, or anyone enquiring about school projects, can contact

Willmott Dixon Achieves Second Consecutive King’s Award for Enterprise

Willmott Dixon has been awarded the UK’s most prestigious business accolade for the second successive year.

The company was again recognised by the annual King’s Awards for Enterprise, this time for Sustainable Development.  Last year, it won an award in the category of Promoting Opportunity.

This is the fifth time Willmott Dixon has achieved this accolade since 2014, and the third time it has been recognised by the awards for its work in Sustainable Development. This latest King’s Award for Enterprise follows progress Willmott Dixon has made towards a Net Zero future for itself, its people, customers and supply chain, including: reducing carbon relative to turnover by 80% since 2010 and achieving carbon neutral status for eleven years.

As one of the UK’s largest family-owned construction and fit-out companies, Willmott Dixon employs over 2,000 people. It has set the challenge to be zero-carbon in its own operations without offsetting by 2030 as part of the company’s ethos to leave a positive legacy for future generations.

Graham Dundas, Willmott Dixon’s Chief Executive, said: “The King’s Awards for Enterprise are the preeminent way to recognise outstanding achievements by UK businesses and it’s very humbling that this award has been bestowed on Willmott Dixon for a fifth time.

“Our purpose is to leave a world fit for future generations, both by reducing the impact of our operations and by delivering future-climate-ready buildings for our customers that use less carbon in construction and operation.

“This latest King’s Award for Enterprise, following last year’s award for Promoting Opportunity, will help galvanise even more our determination to support a Net Zero future for our society. It further recognises the efforts and innovation of our people and serves as another powerful endorsement that we are moving in the right direction toward our ambition to be the UK’s most sustainable construction company.”

A total of 252 organisations have been recognised nationally with a prestigious King’s Award for Enterprise.

The King’s Awards for Enterprise, previously known as The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, were renamed last year to reflect His Majesty The King’s desire to continue the legacy of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s by recognising outstanding UK businesses. The Award programme, now in its 58th year, is the most prestigious business award in the country, with successful businesses able to use the esteemed King’s Awards Emblem for the next five years.

17 May

Nurture Group and Muscular Dystrophy UK seal Corporate Partnership ahead of RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Nationwide green services provider Nurture Group has become a corporate partner of Muscular Dystrophy UK, with the launch planned to take place at the charity’s Forest Bathing Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024, 21 – 25 May.

The Muscular Dystrophy UK show garden is funded by grant-making charity Project Giving Back, which supports charitable organisations promote their cause using a garden at the event.

The Forest Bathing Garden, which will hold a prominent plot on Chelsea’s Main Avenue, is designed by RHS Young Designer of the Year 2017, Ula Maria, and brought to life by Crocus, the UK’s largest gardening website. The Japanese design is inspired by the ancient practice of ‘Shinrin-yoku’, which directly translates to forest bathing.

Nurture Group has donated £20,000 to Muscular Dystrophy UK, and the two are working together to help raise awareness and further support over the next 12 months.

Peter Fane, Nurture Group founder and executive chairman, said: “The charity Muscular Dystrophy UK is close to our hearts, and we are looking forward to seeing the wonderful, sustainable garden come to life where our visitors can meet in a natural setting and enjoy reconnecting with nature through their senses.

“But this goes far beyond a week in May. We are excited about working with Muscular Dystrophy UK over the next 12 months, and we are encouraging our colleagues to help where they can with awareness, and fundraising efforts.”

Muscular Dystrophy is a group of genetic conditions that gradually cause the muscles to weaken. There are over 60 different muscle wasting and weakening conditions, affecting more than 110,000 adults and children in the UK. 

The Muscular Dystrophy UK Forest Bathing Garden will be a fully accessible and immersive space for patients, families, clinicians and the wider community when relocated to its new home. Please follow for further updates.

Debbie Hoods, head of philanthropy and partnerships at Muscular Dystrophy UK said: “We’re delighted to begin this partnership with Nurture and are excited to work with the team over the next 12 months. Thanks to generous support like this, we can continue to improve awareness of muscular dystrophy, provide advice and support to those who need it, fund groundbreaking research, and help accelerate new treatments. Having a show garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is an incredible opportunity for us as a charity and we’re thrilled that Nurture are part of it.”

Painting Students Fix Up Farm with Volunteer Makeover

A group of Leeds College of Building students brushed up on their skills after volunteering to redecorate facilities at Herd Farm Residential and Activity Centre. 

Painting & Decorating and Multi-Skills students from the College spent several weeks on site, prepping walls and woodwork before painting two office rooms, a reception area, and the staff kitchen.

The project also gave valuable work experience to students on the College’s Bridge Builder programme, which offers training for students aged 16 - 24 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) or High Needs.

John Clancy, Curriculum Manager for Construction Crafts at Leeds College of Building, explained: “Herd Farm approached Leeds College of Building and asked if students could assist with refurbishing some spaces on site. We already had an existing relationship as our students visit annually and use the outdoor facilities for induction and team-building activities. 

“We, in turn, spoke to our partner, Caddick Construction, who had funds to sponsor a community project. They generously agreed to donate £2,000 of materials if we could supply the labour.” 

Leeds College of Building staff completed a site visit, ordered materials, and assigned students to the project. The student placements rotated as the project progressed, and a core team attended daily over the last two weeks to ensure that the work was completed on time.

Debbie Watson, Social Value Manager (Yorkshire) at Caddick Construction Ltd, said: “We have a long-standing relationship with Leeds College of Building, hosting T Level placements and site visits, as well as delivering talks to students and supporting careers events. We were delighted to support this valuable community project while also giving the next generation of construction professionals experience of working on a real brief.”

Donna Russell, Centre Manager at Herd Farm Residential & Activity Centre, added: “We are so pleased with our redecorated office and really appreciate all the hard work that has gone into it. The students enjoyed coming up to Herd Farm and were a pleasure to deal with. They took great pride in seeing the difference they made to our working space - a legacy that will last for some years! At Herd Farm, our mission is to make a difference in the lives and experiences of others. In this instance, the students have repaid this to us – a massive thank you to all involved.”

The project team is now discussing potential future projects, including developing and building an archery shelter to enhance the activities offered at Herd Farm during poor weather. This initiative would involve students from the brickwork and joinery departments, as well as painting and decorating students to complete the project.

John concluded: “The project provided a real-life opportunity for students to put their skills into practice, see a project through from start to finish, and make a big difference to the staff at Herd Farm. All the students understood the value of working on a project like this – to benefit those who work with thousands of young people from across the city on a yearly basis, nurturing the potential of the young people who visit.”

CIBSE and DESNZ partner to make CP1 (2020) Free-to-All: A landmark move for UK Heat Network Standards

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) announce their partnership to make CP1 (2020), the recognised Code of Practice for heat networks in the UK, accessible to all, free of charge.

CP1 (2020), a publication produced by CIBSE, serves as a comprehensive guide offering technical guidance and establishing voluntary minimum standards for UK heat networks. Widely acknowledged as the go-to resource in the industry, CP1 (2020) has garnered widespread acceptance and support since its last update in 2020. It has been utilised by industry professionals as a vital technical reference and by developers to set standards for their new heat networks.

Previously available exclusively to CIBSE members, CP1 (2020) is now accessible to all stakeholders, thanks to the generous funding provided by DESNZ. This collaborative effort aims to democratise access to crucial information outlined in CP1 (2020) and facilitate better preparedness for the forthcoming heat network regulations in 2025.

CIBSE and DESNZ are not only removing the paywall but also actively collaborating to update the voluntary Code of Practice throughout 2024. This joint initiative ensures continuous alignment with the evolving regulatory landscape, particularly with the Heat Network Technical Assurance Scheme (HNTAS) standards under development. The next version of CP1 is scheduled to be freely available for download in 2025.

CIBSE’s Technical Director, Dr Anastasia Mylona said about this partnership: "We're excited to partner with DESNZ to offer CP1 (2020) free to all stakeholders. This vital guide sets standards for UK heat networks, promoting industry preparedness for upcoming regulations. It reflects our commitment to advancing best practices and sustainability."