Guy Pakenham, Managing Director at Cordant

Cleaning, comments on advances in washroom cleaning at Eurotunnel’s Victor Hugo Terminal.

At Cordant we’re extremely proud of our staff who are responsible for maintaining clean washrooms for many of the UK’s busiest services organisations. This is particularly true for our award-winning team working on the cleaning contract for Eurotunnel.

This prestigious contract covers the Folkstone-based, ‘Victor Hugo terminal’ building, which is used by over a million passengers every year, as well as hundreds of Eurotunnel staff. The 150-hectare UK terminal has been designed so that travellers can either quickly pass through to their next mode of transport, or take a leisurely break before or after their journey. As such the building is bustling with travelers using both retail and food outlets as well as indoor and outdoor play areas where their children can let off steam. There are also back office buildings for Eurotunnel head quarters, all of which Cordant’s staff clean.

A key part of cleaning this huge multi-purpose building is maintaining washroom cleanliness. Here, as a result of our staff’s hard work, the terminal has secured the ‘National Loo of The Year Award’ for four consecutive years. So it was a natural consideration to consult the team’s manager about advancements in washroom cleaning for the purpose of this article.

Our terminal contract manager, Helen Shute reported that although attention to detail is always the most important aspect of washroom cleanliness, there have been some advancements in the design of cleaning equipment that is helping her team.

The new, smaller, scrubber dryers introduced at Eurotunnel last year


are making it easier for staff to clean even the smallest spaces, so now cleaning cubicles for example, can be achieved much more effectively than before. The Eurotunnel cleaning team also finds that the other big impact is derived from spray mopping. This provides a quick and thorough method of cleaning so that the team only needs to shut down toilet areas for a very short period. So steam mopping is ideally suited to busy environments like the terminal conveniences, where there is a consistently high footfall.

However, Helen was quick to add, that whilst improvements in equipment are a big contributor to high cleaning performance, the company culture and managerial improvements are the biggest drivers for staff.

Helen explained: “About four years ago when the terminal toilets were revamped, the cleaning regime changed considerably, to great effect. There is now a twenty-four hour cleaning service so a uniformly high level of hygiene is achieved. Cleanliness is closely monitored and there are strict schedules and set tasks to perform. There are regular audits and allocated times for descaling and shutting down areas for deep cleans.

“Not only that, new management systems were introduced so that we are all encouraged to put forward ideas for improving the way we operate and our own levels of professionalism. We receive on- going training to help us improve our career paths and knowledge for our jobs. We also attend regular staff meetings so that both ideas for improvements are quickly activated


and any issues can be dealt with before they become problems.”

Thanks to Helen’s team and our culture of support and improvement, we are delighted to have been re-selected for this prestigious Eurotunnel contract. We find that by encouraging our staff to be actively responsible for their work and see their job as a career path on which they are nurtured by management, with regular ongoing training, we get the best results. Giving staff the best tools for the job by adopting technological advancements, while important, is just a small element of keeping our people at the heart of our business.

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