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Posted - 16th June 20

“An outstanding job”: Aspire & Sodexo supporting the Army’s Covid-19 operational response


Aspire Defence Services Limited and Sodexo have received high praise from senior commanders in Aldershot.

Col Andy Szabo, Assistant Chief of Staff Infrastructure, Regional Command, has commended both businesses for their excellent support to military personnel operating the Standing Joint Command at Montgomery House in Aldershot.

“Your teams that support Defence’s critical outputs at Montgomery House are quite simply doing an outstanding job. From maintenance running in the background through enhanced and at times precision cleaning, to keeping us all fed and snacked via the café, your people are just first class. You know how important keeping things working – and us safe – is.”

Since the Coronavirus pandemic gripped the UK, Aspire Defence Services Limited and Sodexo have been working round-the-clock to help the Army adapt to the fast-evolving situation.

In testament to their successful partnership approach under the Project Allenby/Connaught contract, the businesses have delivered with customary professionalism and agility, identifying additional control measures required to protect the infrastructure and command teams crucial to the Covid-19 response.

Aidan Murphy, ADSL Operations Director (East), explained:

“During this time the collaborative working between our team and Sodexo has been simply amazing. I am extremely appreciative and grateful for the flexibility, agility, passion and empathy they have displayed. There have been so many individuals and teams in Sodexo that have gone well above the call of duty.”

The initiatives introduced to ensure Standing Joint Command remains safe and operational have included:

  • increased cleaning and extended café opening hours to cover evenings and weekends
  • reduced touch points and sanitiser for self-cleaning of workstations
  • Perspex screens fitted to the reception desk and cafe kiosk.
  • Information leaflets, posters and pop up banners were produced for display around the building.
  • A shuttle bus service was organised to transport staff from their accommodation to the workplace.

ADSL reception staff have also monitored visitors’ hand-washing on arrival at the building, while any calls received by the Aspire Helpdesk were prioritised as emergencies, facilitating a two-hour response to keep critical buildings fully functional.

Alongside these initiatives and additional support, the Sodexo team also found time to treat Montgomery House occupants with homemade baking and Easter treats – a welcome morale boost in challenging times.

Aldershot Garrison Commander Lt Col Paddy Baines MBE has echoed the positive feedback received from the Standing Joint Command:

“The level of support that you are all providing to Aldershot Garrison during the COVID-19 crisis has been exceptional, and has demonstrated the benefits of the already close working relationships that have been forged across the Garrison. On behalf of all the military personnel that you support, thank you!”

Photo courtesy of Sodexo: Lesley Hurst, Retail Assistant and Karen Fraser, Mess Manager

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