Friday 3/12 marks Purple Space’s Purple Light up, raising awareness and celebrating disability in the workplace.
“#PurpleLightUp is a global movement that celebrates and draws attention to the economic contribution of the 386 million disabled employees around the world. Since 2017, #PurpleLightUp has been driving momentum for disability inclusion across hundreds of organisations, reaching thousands of employees in different ways.”
At Wilson and Scott, we work shoulder to shoulder with people from all walks of life. We recognise the contributions that disabled people have made, and continue to make, throughout our industry, and how important inclusion is in the workplace.
To celebrate #PurpleLightUp, we are pleased to share an excerpt of an article that Yvette De Souza, whom we recently wrote an article about, has written:
I have a new ‘friend’ who is with me 24/7. No matter what I do I cannot get rid of her.
She’s there with me constantly; keeping me company.
She is silent. Invisible to the naked eye.
No, she is not a figment of my imagination. No, she is not a ghost.
Nobody can see her, including me; but she is there with me. She is in my head…..literally.
I have a new ‘friend’.
I have named my new ‘friend’ Glenis – Glenis the Glioma.
The brain tumour that I was diagnosed with in February 2020 – Date of birth unknown.
‘The size of a tennis ball’, the consultant said, referring to Glenis.
But how? I replied.
I had no symptoms. No pain. No headaches.
How did this tennis ball bury itself inside my head?
My life was derailed in a matter of seconds.
I have a new ‘friend’; a ‘friend’ I do not want.
‘It has to come out’, they said.
‘We have to cut open your skull’, they said.
But why? I’m not in pain.
‘We have to’, they said. ‘For your sake, Glenis has to go’, they said.
You have a new ‘friend’, they said.
Fast forward to the present day; treatment over.
Time to proceed with my new life – version 2.0 as my oncologist likes to call it.
On the outside, I look, walk, act, and talk like I used to; but on the inside my invisible ‘friend’ has had an impact.
I battle with different ailments daily; no one day is the same.
I do not let that stop me from moving on with my altered life.
I have a new ‘friend’, I will not let her win.
My memory, my confidence, my concentration, and vocabulary have all been impacted by my new ‘friend’.
I am determined not to let her define me; I am more than Glenis.
Every day I fight to overcome Glenis; every day I become that little bit stronger.
I may not be able to do the exact same things I used to, but I will give everything a try at least once.
My new ‘friend’ will always be with me; even though she wants to do
Wilson and Scott have had the great honour of appearing in an episode of Grace’s Amazing Machines on the BBC CBeebies channel (Sky 608, Virginia Media 702).
We showed Grace how our line marking machines work, with a focus on one of our Multi Marks, and how we keep the country moving! Be sure to tune in to learn more about the work we do, the episode is live on TV and the BBC iPlayer.
S3, E17 and E20
As part of Wilson & Scott’s continued success in providing efficient line marking solutions, we were, last night, called out to the A1M to aid in the emergency carriageway repairs after a major incident. We supplied a machine crew to reline the southbound carriageway, approximately 50 meters on all lanes with the inclusion of stick on cat eyes.
RMS passed on their appreciation as ‘an extraordinary effort was made…with only a few hours’ notice’, allowing the road to be opened again this morning. The efficiency of all teams involved in the operation should be commended, enabling a safe route for the morning commute and avoiding long delays.
If you have an emergency and need a responsive team to provide road markings, get in touch!
Update: Ringway contacted ourselves to give feedback on our response to yesterday’s emergency repairs: “I would like to pass on my gratitude to you and your team in enabling us to fully open the A1M Southbound between Jct 16-15 , without your assistance this would have caused major disruption this morning for the traveling public.”
We are very grateful for the kind words from Darren at Ringway and are always happy to help keep the country on the road.
This week marks the official launch of Road Safety Week 2021, organised by the charity ‘Brake’ to celebrate the professionals who work tirelessly to make our roads safer for everyone. Across the country, schools, organisations, and road safety professionals take part in promoting safe and healthy interactions around our road networks.
At Wilson and Scott, we are a very safety conscious company. Reinforced by our ‘safety starts with me’ approach, and ISO 39001:2012 and 45001:2018 certifications, we not only provide a top-quality service but one that ensures the health and safety of all those who work and use the sites in which we line. All our vehicles have camera and speed monitoring systems installed to ensure safe movement across the country, and our crews are engaged with on a regular basis during safety leadership tours that we undertake. These steps are an integrated part of how we conduct our work, keeping the country’s roads safe whenever we are maintaining them.
We believe that line markings are crucial to the safe running of not only roads and carriageways but depots, warehouses, and car parks. That’s why we provide line marking solutions for a whole host of private applications. If this safety week has made you realise that your site needs marking, for the first time or as part of a regular maintenance, then don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss your needs with the country’s founding line marking company.
A catch up with Ethan Wheatley
Apprenticeships are one of the schemes at the heart of Wilson & Scott’s operation. Learning line marking requires a very much hands-on approach, and the opportunities we have for young people joining the workforce is at the forefront of the industry.
I caught up with our most recent apprentice, Ethan Wheatley, to see how he was getting on while preparing for his final training towards his NVQ. Ethan has been with Wilson & Scott for just over a year, coming straight out of school, and following his dad (our Senior Operations Manager) Lee into the trade.
We spoke for a little while before Ethan started his first job of the day, which was to line the end of a cycle lane. I could tell from his enthusiasm that Ethan really enjoys the work and skills he has learnt. He spoke highly of his mentor Steve, who pushes him to achieve the very best in his work as well as teaching him ways of working that have endured the test of time as being the correct, and most efficient, processes which deliver the high-quality results we are known for.
Furthermore, Ethan stated that he found the lining he has been doing very rewarding, as he can see the positive impact the finished lines have on road users as well as being a satisfying job to undertake.
I wish Ethan all the best with achieving his qualifications and am certain that with his determination and right attitude, he will work his way through our company with pride.
2021 marks the 37th year that Wilson and Scott have provided the blue line for the London Marathon, being the only company to have done so throughout the marathon’s history, this is an event we are all proud to cater for.
To mark the occasion, I spoke with Steve Scott, Chairman of Wilson & Scott, about the history of our involvement in the event.
“In 1984, we were approached by John Disley, co-founder of the marathon, as he wanted to make improvements with the race. He and Chris Brasher saw a blue line to indicate roads used during the 1979 New York Marathon, and they thought it would be a good idea to implement this in London. The blue line serves a dual purpose today, also showing the shortest route for the elite athletes.
The marathon was moved to Westminster bridge in 1982 and, whilst deciding on alterations to the route, John saw one of Wilson and Scott’s crews busy at work. He took down the phone number on our wagon and gave Steve Scott a call.
There were a few prerequisites with the line for the marathon; it had to be put down quickly and taken off after the race and we couldn’t use white or yellow as these were colours used across the country already. Thus, the blue line was used.
It is also an intermittent line. This is because, if you paint continuously and put a kink in it, it will look terrible on TV. You can have some deviation in the line with gaps; it also reduces the paint needed and time taken.
At the time, the new major sponsor of the marathon was Mars, based in Slough, whose neighbour was ICI paints. They asked ICI to develop a temporary paint for our use in the marathon. Conveniently, ICI had recently invented a product to coat new cars, instead of waxing cars from the factory -as had been done- this new product was a film that could be removed with a detergent. They pigmented this film blue and then we trialled it.
The temporary paint worked well, we could spray a detergent which softens the resin and then we could wash it off. We trialled this in our yard and then had to do an official trial in London. All the boroughs the marathon went through had to approve the use of this paint.
There were two official trials. One in Tooley Street, and one on the Isle of Dogs (at the time just open dockland). Approval was given by all councils. We first lined the marathon the year after, in 1985, and have done so ever since.
In 1985, the organisers insisted that the lining was to be done on a Saturday night. We worked through the night and finished lining at 6 am on Sunday, with the race start at 9 am. It made more sense to paint on a Friday night, which left a fallback in case weather was bad and we couldn’t
“Hidden disabilities don’t have physical signs and include learning difficulties, mental health as well as mobility, speech, visual or hearing impairments. They can also include asthma, COPD, and other lung conditions as well as chronic illnesses such as renal failure, diabetes, and sleep disorders when those diseases significantly impact day-to-day life.
Living with these conditions can make daily life more demanding for many people. They affect each person in different ways and can be painful, exhausting, and isolating. Without visible evidence of the hidden disability, it is frequently difficult for others to acknowledge the challenges faced and consequently, sympathy and understanding can often be in short supply.”
Across the UK, and in other countries, the Sunflower symbol is increasingly being recognised for persons with a hidden disability. National Highways is now promoting this scheme for road users facing assistance on motorways and major a-roads.
The Sunflower symbol can be used by those with a hidden disability on their vehicle so that, in the case of a breakdown or incident, responders understand the road user may need help with:
- Understanding instructions and communicating their needs
- Staying calm at a time of stress
- Getting to a place of safety
As a road user, we are advised to:
Ensure you do not place yourself in danger – this is vital
In an Emergency Dial 999
If a breakdown on a National Highways motorway Dial 0300 123 5000
Listen to and look for their needs. The person may be unable to communicate their needs verbally. They may show you their Sunflower card. This describes their disability on the front and details their needs and emergency contact details on the reverse.
If the person has a carer, family member or friend with them, listen to what they have to say.
Instructions from you to the person should be clear, concise, and stated calmly. It may be necessary for you to repeat what you said – if so, try to rephrase what you want to say and do this calmly
Appropriate gestures may assist when giving instructions
Only if safe for you to do so, give help to assist the person to get to a place of safety
Do not attempt to move any vehicle, mobility device, etc.
(Featured image courtesy of Hidden Disabilities)
Wilson & Scott Highways Ltd have been successful in being awarded the contract for 40 Arriva bus depots across country with the focus around London and the South Midlands. This contract is an opportunity for Wilson & Scott to demonstrate their professionalism towards Health & Safety in providing standardised line markings across all sites to ensure group conformity as well as being able to re-line the parking bays to revitalise their appearance. I went out to one of the sites to meet the Team, here was my time watching the operations in action at the Luton depot.
Arriving bright and early on a mid-week, October, morning, I was greeted by Sam, Chris, Andy and Damo, the operatives working on site at the Arriva Luton depot that day. The guys are all very hard working and started the day with good spirits and motivation. As the morning progressed the Team had to overcome some obstacles and dynamically assess the situation to allow works to progress to the tight schedule already defined. Their approach to the situation allowed them to swiftly identify and agree a solution which helped them continue with the tasks in-hand. No matter what was thrown at them, the lads all took it on the chin and continued pushing forwards.
Sam, who was the site supervisor, walked me through the works that were going to be carried out at the depot, as well as some more information surrounding the wider project. There were two teams working at the Luton site I visited, a team from London, and the team supervised by Sam, who are from Devon. The Devon guys have only recently been put together, although individually they have a lot of experience in line marking, yet the sense of camaraderie between them already is very strong.
Whilst there, I witnessed several processes taking place. Hydro blasting was being used to cleanse the bays before marking commenced. This is the first time that this process has been used in this way on any of the Arriva sites, and it was employed to remove the large build-up of oil and debris in the bays. Moreover, the teams would be using different paints in Luton, as the car park is bricked instead of tarmacked. As the blocks move over time, a slightly rubberised paint must be used to counteract this and avoid cracking, true to the innovative way in which Wilson & Scott think and operate.
“A race until the first frost“
Overall, the company is currently halfway through the awarded tender but at this time of year, foul weather is beginning to cause further complications. Our operatives cannot put down lines in wet weather and once temperatures drop below freezing, Arriva’s winter resilience programme comes into force, with gritting starting in their depots, which brings all work to a halt. The grit causes a chemical reaction with the paint, amongst other things, which is why our work will stop. There are still some indoor works left to complete,
Today is World Standards Day and, every year, we take a moment to celebrate and pay tribute to the thousands of experts across the globe who work with the International Organization for Standardization; and have developed the standards that we at Wilson & Scott are proud to adhere to.
Currently, Wilson and Scott are certified against ISO 14001, 9001, 45001, 44001 and 39001; with 27001 (Information Security Management Systems) soon to join our arsenal.
If you have the time, dive into the World Standards Day website (click here) to learn more about the agreements that we all live by.
Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40; over 5,000 people lose their lives to a brain tumour each year and just 11% of adults survive for five years after diagnosis. Those are some of the eye-opening facts that people with brain tumours must live with daily.
Living with any form of cancer is extremely tough, but doing so during a global pandemic, and when the diagnosis is completely out of the blue is even more difficult. This is the new normal that our colleague Tess’ daughter Yvette has had since February 2020. As a company, we care a great deal for all of our people and always help where we can, therefore:
We would like to thank Yvette for giving us permission to share her story, with the hopes to raise awareness of brain tumours and the lack of funding they currently receive.
“In February 2020, I was informed my MRI scan showed that I had a tumour the size of a tennis ball in my brain and, not surprisingly, it needed to come out ASAP.
After two days recovering from my surgery at St George’s Hospital, I was sent home as I was recovering well, but COVID-19 was also sweeping the hospital and so it was safer for me to continue my recovery at home. After a week, I returned to the hospital to have my staples removed and was given the devasting news that the tumour was malignant. I was then referred to my local Oncology centre to undergo treatment for the remaining tumour. I had six and a half weeks of radiotherapy, which meant while everyone else was going through the first UK lockdown, I was leaving my house daily, Monday to Friday, for ten-minute radiotherapy sessions – the upside was little to no traffic on the roads!
Next, began my chemotherapy cycles – five days of chemo tablets followed by 23 days off. I have just completed my 12th and final cycle; however, the MRI scans and hospital appointments will continue.
The Brain Tumour Charity has been there for me throughout my treatment, acting as virtual support, as I walk this journey of dealing with Glenis (my brain tumour) every day. Over the past 18 months I have been in a support group with people suffering from the same disease. We have celebrated the few that made recoveries, but also cried about those who have stopped contributing, to only have the news that they will never be back.
We offered support for those that felt they could not go on and shared in every moment of joy like positive scan results and ‘craniversaries’, drawing on these to lift our own emotional states. We often look the same as we used too, we sound the same, but our brains are malfunctioning, our hormones act like it’s a riot and our emotions act like a drunk teenager. Life gets a little challenging every now and again, but we are happy for the