As the week draws to a close and Christmas is upon us, we will be closing our doors until the 4th of January. Our people have done a brilliant job this year, and we would all like to take a moment to thank our operatives and office staff alike for the work that they do.
The festivities have come into full swing at our Poyle Office, where the consignment of Christmas Turkeys arrived. A Secret Santa was held and everyone has been in great spirits, looking forward to a winter break; and to celebrate in some normality.
We wish all of our clients and readers a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Let’s bring on 2022 with all pistons firing!
They say that working in Compliance can be quite harsh. Our Compliance Manager Jason wanted to set the record straight, and show that Compliance has a soft side.
The Mosaic Day Centre in Tunbridge Wells recently opened their doors to their newly renovated premises, which is operated by the Tunbridge Wells Churches Street Teams. The centre provides lots of different support, services, and advice to local residents in need. One of the services that this fantastic location runs is a daily soup bowl. This is a way to offer food and drink as well as a friendly place to rest and meet other people in similar situations.
Mosaic also offers assistance with pre-employment support, such as CV and debt advice. Housing support is also provided by the Centre for those who need it. Within the centre, there is a great amount of amenities. For instance, there is a washing machine and dryer, shower room and clothing available. Temporary shelter provisions are also available if the need arises. The Team have also linked up with a local children’s charity to provide rooms for courses. Areas for counselling are also available.
If you would like to know more then please visit www.twstreetteams.org. Better still, have a look for local soup bowls in your area, volunteers are in great demand this time of year and it truly is a welcomed offering.
At Wilson & Scott, we constantly aim to support local charities and we have a volunteer day initiative to help support this. This year, in the spirit of Christmas, our Health & Safety Manager Dylan Thompson Elf & Safety Manager for the day. Dylan volunteered to assist the James Hopkins Trust with their Santa’s Grotto and Breakfast in Newent.
As one of Santa’s Elves, this is what Dylan’s day looked like:
“Santa’s Elves were first tasked with looking after the families as they arrived. We then guided the families to the breakfast with Santa and, after breakfast, there was a meet and greet. Afterwards, the Grotto opened for the day. I met the families as they came into the grotto, guiding them to Santa’s room, and supported the charity at their sales desk. The Trust were selling Christmas themed items and all the money was to fundraise to support the charity.”
The James Hopkins Trust provides vital care, respite, and family support for life limited, and life threatened young children. All of us here at Wilson & Scott would like to wish a very Merry and restful Christmas to all the staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to help the lives of others, at the Trust and across the country; we hope that our Elf & Safety Manager brightened the day of those who came along!
Be sure to check your vehicle’s functions. Check your tyre tread and depth, ensure your tyres are properly inflated; make sure that you have enough oil and fluids in your engine (especially antifreeze!); check the correct function of wipers and lights and make sure that any luggage that you’re carrying is securely fastened down.
In severe levels of winter weather, it is a good practice to check the roads before you travel. National Highways (previously Highways England) provides to-the-minute traffic reports on the Strategic Road Network across the country. You can also use apps like BBC Weather for alerts and weather warnings in your area. The worst thing is being caught off-guard in a snow storm!
Once on the road, be sure to keep an eye on any changing conditions; this is most important on longer journeys when different parts of the country could be experiencing multiple weather fronts.
Stopping distances are doubled in the rain and 10x greater in ice.
With that in mind, it is mindful to leave extra space between other road users.
Skidding and aquaplaning can also cause issues in bad weather. To prevent this, make sure you brake and accelerate gently and, if you do start to skid:
Stop braking and accelerating, as the tyres find grip carefully steer the car into the direction of the skid. For example, if the rear of the car skids to the left, steer quickly and smoothly to the left.
(This deals with a front wheel skid, mostly caused by going round corners on slippery roads too fast or braking heavily in corners).
Hopefully these few tips will serve you well over winter, and remember, if driving conditions are extremely bad or you’re unsure about being on the road, it’s better to stay at home.
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
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.
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,
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