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NEWS AND VIEWS FROM ACROSS THE ROK GROUP SUMMER 2006 ISSUE 7 inside Number One Hats off to the Housing Service group. for Social Housing Rok’s position as a leading provider of social housing in the UK was confirmed with its top ranking in a monthly league table of new work won in the sector over the previous 12 months. The table, in the construction magazine Contract Journal, appeared just as Rok was attending the Chartered Institute of Housing’s annual conference 3 Board Talk and exhibition in Harrogate. Many of the people who have helped secure Rok’s place as a major player in the market were on hand at Harrogate to meet our customers and suppliers and it is these key relationships that have propelled us to number one. A delighted Kevin Willetts, director of housing and education, said: 8 Top of the form “ “Two and a half years ago we set out on a journey to become the principal provider of social housing in the UK and it has resulted ” in us being number one today. I want to thank everyone as it has been a huge team effort.” Family’s dream home When University lecturer and mother-of-two Sarah 9 Another Star for Rok Turnbull won a £50,000 home makeover in a national competition, there was only one builder she wanted to do the work for her. Sarah chose Rok for its reputation and because she had been impressed by the smartly branded team she had seen working close to her home in Southsea. Rok’s Solent office is now carrying out the work which involves major Building Better Lives structural changes to create a new larger kitchen, turn the cellar into a playroom and install a new staircase. Sarah, who won the lucrative makeover in BBC Homes magazine, said:“We are delighted we selected Rok.They have exceeded our expectations Rok is taking part in a major new initiative being piloted by and are really changing the face of building.They were immensely the UK's leading youth charity,The Prince’s Trust, to support helpful and professional from day one, really listening to what we unemployed young people by helping them develop their wanted, and are very reasonably priced”. practical skills and move into employment with the 12 No Moaner this Liza! construction industry.The six-week pilot course - Building Adding a Rok touch to the Turnbull’s BBC home makeover, the team has become part of the family during the eight week project. Better Lives – is being run in London and will help disadvantaged young people change their lives, by giving them work experience in our industry and further support for six months from a Prince’s Trust adviser. “ Garvis Snook said: “There are huge numbers of kids out there coming out of education and spinning to the edges of society with no real direction. Our industry could do more ” to bring this resource back into the work 15 SeeWoo soon place to have useful careers.” WORKNEWSWORKNEWSWORKNEW Healthy outlook for Trust building. what the Doctors ordered Waterwise Nurses and health staff from Bath and ‘This exciting new project, part of our North East Somerset Primary Care Trust joined Bristol Rok to view the ongoing relationship with Bath and North East Somerset Primary Care Trust, reinforces our Beyond Their Years start of the remodelling and upgrading commitment to providing improved and School children are encouraging people not to waste of their building at James Street West. accessible services which benefit our local water in the drought affected South East with support The £1m project will provide a 24-hour community’ said Rok area leader, from their local Rok Centre. Twenty-six pupils from Crawley modern primary health care centre for Bath. Charlie Scherer. won prizes in a competition to design posters which would be displayed with sculptures, also by children, where the council would normally have hung thirsty hanging baskets. Doing away with the baskets and planters was set to save millions of litres of DomeSweetDome If you were wondering what had happened to the Millennium Dome, water as the worst drought in 100 years continued. Rok it has spawned a look-a-like down on the English Riviera thanks to sponsored the competition and provided judges. Crawley’s Rok Torquay who have provided the local Lawn Tennis Club with an Malcolm Ward said that the builders had been delighted to be ‘Air Hall’ to cover three tarmac courts. involved in the Council’s search for an alternative to the usual floral riot of colour in the town. The dome is around 51m long, 37m wide and 12m high, allowing for year-round play. Rok’s task included forming a large ring beam to anchor the Air Dome and creating two mini courts for New Campus Grimsby Institute’s newest campus will be ready for the youngsters. When the time was right, start of the academic year after Rok Topcon has finished an the specialist contractor arrived with extensive refurbishment of part of the former Nunsthorpe the doubled skinned dome and the School. When the school opened back in the thirties it was referred whole structure was up and inflated to as being ‘ahead of its time’ because of its modern design and within 24 hours! Funding for the teaching methods. In its new guise, it will house further education project came from the Lawn Tennis departments offering animal care, construction and horticulture Association and a Sport England courses. It will also be available for community use of its sports fields Development Grant.Torquay Lawn Tennis and a hall. Nunsthorpe branch library will be closed and its services Club was founded more than 100 years Air Hall moved to the new college premises, under a partnership arrangement ago. The nearest clubs with Air Halls are Torquay between the Institute and North East Lincolnshire Council. Ivybridge and Newquay. In the Vanguard Improvements in Rok training has been given on areas Maintenance are continuing including health and safety and apace, with a programme of employment law.The effect of these developments designed to re- changes on the ground is that engineer our core business performance and customer processes, develop our skills satisfaction continue to improve base and to provide the latest month on month. Neeta Ewart, who “ tools and technology our leads the Change Team said: people need to do their jobs. “It has been frantic with so many To manage this effectively, a Change parallel projects but as a team Programme has been set up with a we have managed to introduce portfolio of 70 projects. Among its the change to the Rok Centres principal successes are the Rok and customers in a co-ordinated Maintenance website, the linking of and planned way. our systems with those of our Communication and training are customers, new methods of vital to success and I hope the reporting and weekly reviews.We Rok Centres have noticed a ” have also successfully launched the difference with the above projects Rok Maintenance Skills Strategy and and have felt supported”. 2 W WSCITYNEWSCITYNEWSCITYNEWS BoardTalk Highlights include improved operating Rok Citizen had a chat with the newest non-executive member of the board, Ian “” margin City Viewpoint making the news Following the Company’s announcement of results Ellis, and asked him about at the end of March, Rok’s encouraging financial his background and what performance was reported by Growth Company experience he would bring Investor magazine. to his role. Amongst the highlights were the improvement in Operating Q – What made you choose to Margin from 2.9 to 3.5%, Maintenance Division sales growth become a surveyor? of 78%, Building Division Operating Profit growth of 26% and a 16 % improvement in Development Division revenue. A – My father and grandfather were surveyors The article revelled in Rok’s impressive results, placing a in an agricultural practice and my father Q – So what brought you to Rok? ‘buy’ recommendation on stock. would take me when he went to value A – When I was approached and asked if I Rok’s position as a leader in its sector was further farms and I thought it seemed a great job. would become a non-executive director, I underlined as it was recognised by industry commentator, My brother went into the family business had a look at the website and it did not Contract Journal. It stated that Rok won contracts totalling so I thought I would go into the seem like the usual construction company. It £488m in the social housing sector over 12 months, earning commercial side. I trained with the was obvious that it was more people based the company first place in its ‘Top 10 by sector’ table. The Valuation Office of the Inland Revenue and and it had also seen rapid growth which publication also listed the Company as 10th in its ‘CJ50’, the later moved to London where I joined was something I had experienced at Trillium top 50 ‘New work winners’ league table. Richard Ellis becoming head of investment so I thought I would enjoy being part of it. management. Brokers, Altium, also published a bullish research note Q – How do you see your role? describing Rok’s stock as ‘highly compelling’ and reiterating Q - You are now chief executive of its ‘buy’ recommendation to the investors. It has a current A – It is tempting to ‘get stuck in’ but that’s not Trillium LS, the biggest company of target price of 700p. the job of a non-exec. It is about helping its kind. How did that move come “ with constructive comments without getting about? too involved in the day to day business. Since The Daily Telegraph,‘The Market’ Section (25th may 2006) A - I was asked to join Trillium when it set up as I joined in February I have found that what I a new business.The government started saw on the website is reflected in what “Shares in building and construction group Rok rose 18 to 544.5 thinking about outsourcing its property people at the company feel. I was at an yesterday after a trade journal detailed the company’s success at management and Trillium was set up to airport the other day and saw a Rok man winning contracts last year.” meet that need.We started with the helping passengers in an area where there Altium Securities – ‘Rok - Keep on rolling’ (17th May 2006) Department of Work and Pensions looking was building work and it made me feel after their buildings and services and it grew proud to be associated with the company. Growth of this magnitude is impressive by any measure. However, from there; from five people in the beginning we still believe that the growth story is far from complete, and Q – What do you do when you are not the prospects for the future are as strong as ever. to 800 today. In 2000 we were bought by working? Land Securities. I think one of the reasons it has been so successful is that we decided A – I have five children from two marriages and Numis Securities - ‘Sector Pick’ (12th May 2006) from the outset what our core values would the youngest is under three. My young boys “Given the significant growth prospects on offer at the group over be – integrity, excellence, innovation, respect think I am a cricketer and a footballer! the next few years, we believe that Rok should trade on a and customer service - and we have stayed Good food, good wine, good company and premium to the sector. Our target price methodology is based true to those values. children make life worth living. upon a sum of the parts analysis. At 750p, there is a 30% upside ” from current levels, placing the stock in Buy territory. Rok is our key Construction sector pick within this review.” Alighting at Blackpool Rok Development is The completed carving out a position Temple Quay as a significant national player with a track record of delivery in its local markets which are growing all the time. Its expansion into the North through the new Manchester office has already proved a success Getting down to some serious golf. TeeingOff with a major pre-sold mixed-use scheme in Leeds The second Rok Golf Tour is off to a flying start with more than £11,000 raised for Wooden Spoon already! and an industrial scheme on The tour started on a beautiful sunny day for the Brighton, the outskirts of Manchester. Crawley and Eastbourne offices. Exeter and Torquay followed Latest acquisition is a site and next in line were Teesside and Newcastle where the odd close to Blackpool shower certainly didn't dampen any spirits. Generous raffle International Airport where prize donations helped Glasgow and Edinburgh teams add an it plans to provide industrial It also has plans for a 60-bed hotel, amazing £2050 to the pot. Everyone who has supported the and office space.According to Stuart restaurant, offices, warehousing and light Golf Tour has been extremely generous and those involved have Longbottom, the site is superbly industrial units at St Austell. Other worked really hard to make these days fun and exciting for our located in an area with huge customers and suppliers. London's Golf Day will be at Surrey highlights in recent months include the National Golf Club, followed by one for Solent and finally potential.At the other end of the completion of our flagship office Manchester in September. Each of the winning regional teams country, Rok Development has development at Temple Quay in Bristol; will play in the Rok Golf Final on the Brabazon Course at The completed a retail park at Bodmin the start of work at Cynergy Park near Belfry.The money raised for Wooden Spoon, rugby's charity for and the first phase of an office Sittingbourne and the purchase of land at disadvantaged children and young people, will go towards scheme near Truro. Downley Road in Havant. funding capital projects in local communities across the UK. 3 COMMUNICATIONGROUPCOMMU 5 Welcome Since the last Rok Citizen, the People Survey feedback sessions have all been completed allowing us not only to develop some action plans locally but also to extract some key themes evident across the Group as a whole.As is customary, the RCG has fed back to the Board and according to the People Survey, Rok citizens are confident some action will result. Some of the target areas include Training and Pictured (seated): Natasha Dale,Truro; Development; Understanding the Business and its Diane Partington, Milton Keynes; Objectives and Communication. Under training, there is Martin Evans, plc; Cheryll Wilkinson, a feeling that the Personal Development Review (PDR) process is not always being carried out comprehensively enough, that health and safety is not covered well in the offices and more could be done in terms of praise and Team Photo A recent meeting of the Rok Communication Group provided a Poole and Emmie Prichett-Brown Back: (L-r) Steve Cutland,Torquay; Will Grattan, Manchaster; Kevin Hendy, Plymouth; Dave Akitt,Wakefield; Brian Watkins, Exeter; Alan Chick, recognition. Regarding understanding the business, there Crawley;Tim Joy, Reading; perfect opportunity for a photo so that more people around the is a need for clarity on long term plans and changing Derek Ferguson, Glasgow; Dean Hopkins, group can see who the representatives are from across the UK. Eastbourne; Ian Perry, Brighton (retiring): business needs. Communication could be improved around areas such as team structure and learning from Inevitably some in the group are about to finish their two year term of Mark Rendall-Tyrell, Grimsby; Matt Tyler, office, others are there as deputies for those who were unable to attend Bristol; Lynn Moir, Newcastle; Bel Gulson, mistakes.A full list of focus areas can be found on the London and Adam Neyland, RCG section of the company intranet, Roknet. and yet others are newcomers. It is therefore just a snap shot in time Brighton (succeeding) but it does give an indication of the people who are prepared to give up Preparatory work has already begun for entering the their time to the role of representing their colleagues’ Sunday Times100 Best Companies To Work For interests at work. Competition and the RCG is continuing its link with the project team responsible. Indeed, conclusions from our People Survey will go some way to influencing the areas Busy that team should address. Finally, a re-branding of the RCG is underway and in conjunction with this, we have introduced separate ‘regional’ meetings.These smaller gatherings will provide Bees an opportunity to air specific local or regional issues with our Regional Leaders, the key points of which can be addressed at the main RCG meetings. I would encourage support for these meetings as they represent a new approach - one that we will have to adopt as Rok’s growth continues. Alaric Neilson, a senior engineer with Rok in Manchester, is happy to Martin Evans, chairman RCG recommend the Busy Bee childcare voucher scheme promoted by the RCG to his colleagues. He and his wife spend £486, which comes out of their editor’s salaries before it is taxed, on vouchers which are then given to their chosen provider of childcare. Alaric says the Rok Communication Group has elected a new chairman to succeed Martin Evans when his term of Chairman Elect note Doesn’t time fly when you’re enjoying system could not be simpler and can office comes to an end. Chairman elect is Derek yourself! Half the year has gone already save people up to £1000 a year. He Ferguson, Maintenance Team Leader in Glasgow. Derek has and it is time for another issue of Rok been with Rok two and a half years having joined as a adds that even if someone’s nursery or Citizen where we can take a look at what building manager. He quickly became involved in the childminder is not registered with Busy maintenance side of the business and is now a team leader. everyone has been busy doing since the last one.There is plenty to write about Bees, who run the scheme, it is a Before that he had worked for a number of construction from the news that we are now the simple procedure to do so. If you need companies in the west of Scotland. He has been married to leading provider of social housing in the to know more visit Lynne, a primary school head, for 19 years and the couple www.busybees.com have three boys. He enjoys watching football and doing up UK to the contributions individuals are the family home which is 200 years old. He has just started making to their own local communities playing golf again. Of his future role, he says he hopes he can with fund-raising and voluntary work. fill Martin’s shoes and is looking forward to raising the profile Reflecting some of the Group’s current focus of the RCG as well as the Scottish side of the business. areas we have some new sections this time for news on Health and Safety and the Environment. If you have any comments on the contents of this Wessex regional leader Chris Hyde and issue or any contributions for the AHundredBest Cheryll Wilkinson with Rok’s Sunday Times 100 Best Companies To Work For Award. next one please send By jumping 27 places to feature at components of a successful them to me. number 71 Rok became the workplace. Results showed that highest placed national building 81% of those questioned believed company in the mid-sized in Rok’s values and 75% expressed You can email companies list.The list is compiled their excitement about its future. TheCitizen@rokgroup.com or by Best Companies based on People believed they could make a write to responses from a randomly valuable contribution to the Vicky Banham at Rok Centre, selected sample of employees to a success of the business and had Rok proved it was a top place Equity House, Blackbrook Business Park, specially designed survey. confidence in the abilities of their to work when it appeared for Blackbrook Park Avenue,Taunton TA1 2PX. Respondents are asked to rate the team mates. Rok was a fun and a second year in the Sunday company in a series of questions exciting company to work for, Times ‘100 Best Companies Tel: 01823 446024 on eight areas making up key according to 78% of employees. To Work For’ List. 4 Stephen Holloway looking for reptiles ENVIRONMENTNEWSWORKNEW 5 Caption left to right: Rok staff, Emma Keay, area leader Steve Allen, and Lindsey Barwick 5 Building for a Better Environment The boom in construction offers huge scope to create new habitats for wildlife if the industry works closely with environmental experts to make the most of the opportunities, according to Dr Stephen Holloway of Devon Wildlife Consultants. Speaking at a seminar organised by Rok, he said that building was not necessarily bad news for animals, birds, insects and plants but it was crucial that architects, developers and builders engaged with environmental professionals at the very outset of a project if they wanted their development to be sympathetic towards and even enhance biodiversity. Rok area leader in Teesside, Steve Allen, said “ “Much of our countryside has been polluted and damaged by industrialised farming methods and the countryside can be dominated by endless tracts of “ “We want to get our World Environment Day people thinking about technically green fields but fields that are often low in biodiversity. Our World Environment Day saw an was filled throughout the day to the impact we have on greenbelt land, strongly protected initiative designed to get everyone illustrate exactly how much waste was the environment every against development by planning policy, thinking about how much paper is being produced daily.The results were single day rather than is often inappropriately managed and of ” thrown away by Rok sites and sent to our War On Waste team and low wildlife, landscape and recreational on a one –off occasion. offices. There was also an article on a hopefully helped to make everyone value,” said Dr Holloway. ‘green’ topic every day of that week on think about ways of reducing the By only having one bin the company’s intranet Roknet. On amount of paper used and recycling in the Rok office for ‘One Bin Day’, those participating took more of it. Research shows paper usage the day, people could away individual bins and replaced them is actually rising by around 20% every Jane with her see just how much ‘rescued’ water. with a single large bin.The weight of year, with the average office worker waste was being ” the large bin was recorded in kilograms using approximately 50 sheets of paper and multiplied by how many times it every day. produced.” Jane’s Got Bottle New Centre at Village Heart With a sizeable relationship between the village store and PO, doctors’ surgery, garden and vegetable of Blisland in Cornwall and internet café, tea room and patch, Rok Supply Chain Rok’s Truro team.The village workshops.The finished building Director Jane Gibbs was keen had most of the funds and is a stunning combination of to come up with ways of saving water even before the planning permission for an larch wood cladding and local hosepipe ban was imposed in her native Sussex. Amenity Centre but no builder. stone.A water tank harvests She already had six water butts but with her new role as A chance phone call to Rok’s Step forward Rok ready to start rainwater for use in the toilets chairman of the company’s Positive Impact Team which looks at Press office, to see if the work on the centre and keep and outside taps while inside, the Post Office running in the underfloor heating heats water ways of helping the environment, she was on the look out for a company could advise a local community on temporary meantime.The good news didn’t by circulating it through pipes greener approach to a whole range of daily activities. housing for its Post Office end there. Rok used local buried 80m deep in the ground It occurred to her that running her hot tap until it actually during rebuilding, saw the labour and eco-friendly and a Monodraft windcatcher became hot was wasting water. So now instead of letting it beginning of a fruitful materials for the new village provides natural ventilation. flow freely down the drain, she collects it in bottles and stores it for use on her plants. Our picture shows how much she collected in this way during just a month – food or rather water Everton Rok’s project manager Dave Gore (left) with Mike Turton, managing for thought? ECO HOMES director of Aldbury Housing. Work is progressing on an eco-friendly residential development in Liverpool. The do you have any £5.7million Green Brow development consists of 54 homes being built in five blocks by Rok for Aldbury Housing on the site of the former John F Kennedy Heights tower block, at Everton Brow, Everton. covered parking space for cycles. Rob Bath, Comments? Our business doesn't exist in isolation - our employees, “ The scheme will include one, two and three- regional leader for Rok in the North West, said: customers, suppliers, local communities and the environment are bedroom terraced homes and apartment blocks, “This development will be eco-friendly as well all affected by what we do and how we do it. Rok’s Positive in the first of three phases that will eventually as encouraging a community feel to the area Impact team is working to foster a responsible approach provide more than 150 new homes. Among its and promoting healthy lifestyles. Many of the throughout Rok towards keeping our people safe and fulfilled, green credentials are the use of timber as a features will help residents to save money on being good and caring neighbours and leaving our environment in primary material, high levels of insulation, low their bills. Green Brow is an exciting better shape than we found it.The team is chaired by Jane Gibbs energy lighting and rainwater harvesting.There development and we are very pleased to be and if you have any comments or contributions, she would like to ” will be pedestrian routes through the working alongside Aldbury Housing and ID hear from you. Jane.firstname.lastname@example.org development to encourage journeys on foot, with Partnership to bring it to fruition.” 5 HEALTH&SAFETYNEW Shaun helps launch W New head of health and safety, Shaun Davis, MOD, Central Government, London was guest speaker for the launch of a new Underground and for the last eight years at approach to behavioural safety at the Institute Balfour Beatty. He is supported by Harry of Directors in London.An audience of senior Richardson, London; Steven Broom, South East; health and safety professionals learned that Safe Phil Baker, South West; Calum Cameron, Organisation - launched by Pivotal Performance Wessex; Peter Hardy, North and and PsychaLogica – aimed to improve Dave Thompson, North West. A regional organisations’ safety performance through safety adviser for Scotland is being recruited. new approach behavioural change rather increased systems and processes. Examples of behavioural safety in Away from work, Shaun helps with children’s practice were provided by Shaun and by Ian fitness and with the rehabilitation of young Burke, Group Safety Manager, Nestlé UK. offenders. In addition he enjoys other activities such as swimming, cycling, squash “ Shaun said: “It was encouraging to see so many senior and scuba diving. colleagues at the event.This clearly indicates that behavioural safety is now higher on the director’s agenda than three Actions years ago.The attendees took an active interest in the day and I received a lot of feedback on how beneficial it was for SPEAK LOUDER ” them to hear the practical solutions A number of Northern Rok businesses have rather than just the theories. “ benefited from the help of one of UK’s leading learning organisations to provide a highly A Fellow of the Institution of Occupational innovative form of health and safety training. Safety and Health (CFIOSH) and a Chartered Rok regional leader for the North West, Rob Bath Safety and Health Practitioner, Shaun heads a and health and safety manager Dave Thompson, newly expanded team at Rok. He brings a brought in CragRats who specialise in using theatre wealth of experience in the building, and interactive coaching techniques. Rob and Dave maintenance and refurbishment sectors to his worked with CragRats to develop health and safety- new position having previously worked for the centred scenes relevant to the construction industry. The scenes and workshops were then performed by a team of CragRats actors followed by discussions. The main aim was for all Rok people to take Taking the message on the road personal responsibility for their own safety and the safety of those around them. “ In a move applauded by the was refreshing to see companies The tours will feature interactive Rob Bath said: “Delivering training in this way Health and Safety Executive, working together to improve the demonstrations of safe-lifting removes the monotony of slide shows and gets “ ” Rok is working with Midas working environment for everyone. techniques,working at height and everybody involved right from the start. Property Services (UK) Ltd to “We need to get the message protecting hands; as well as giving Throughout the sessions, people remain put good health and safety across that everyone is responsible people an opportunity to test their energised and the active participation creates a practices at the top of the for making sure we all get home hearing, stress and blood pressure. real bond with colleagues. A few shocks, a few industry’s agenda. safe and well each and every day,” Rok and Midas will be joined for the laughs, and even a few tears triggered by brilliant he said. tours by representatives from the actors, brings home the true impact that safety Both companies will be taking the ” Department of Work and Pensions, can have on someone’s life, and the importance health and safety message to sites and Paul Barber, Managing Director of of the issue is conveyed in an inspirational and “ for whom they both worked on the projects across the South of England Midas Property Services (UK) added: ingenious way.” £2.2 billion Job Centre Plus “ with a series of ‘White Van’ “Campaigns like this are great refurbishment programme which is Matt Cleve, senior facilitator at CragRats, said: roadshows as part of the HSE’s because they encourage now being used as a model in best “We are delighted to be invited to work with Working Well Together Campaign. commitment and a pro-active practice by the government. Rok to deliver a programme to motivate and ” John Samuel, Operations Director at approach from the whole project inspire people to think differently on Health and ” Rok, welcomed the initiative saying it team at every level.” Rok’s John Clarke (right) who has been instrumental in Safety . It is more than simply ticking boxes, it’s getting the show on the road with campaign manager Tim Shambrook and Perry Osborne of Midas. about saving lives”. Safe way to Raise Funds Hospice appeals officer Edwin Matthews with James Barker and Scott Parkinson. 5 5 5 Silver for Wakefield Rok’s Yorkshire office has received a second successive Silver Award from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).Acquired by Rok last year, Lemmeleg already held a Silver Award and has now repeated its When Leigh Sports Village adopted Wigan and Leigh Hospice as its nominated charity, there were some novel fundraising ideas. First there was a karting event - involving teams from Rok and other companies success as Rok Lemmeleg. Elsewhere, the South East businesses are celebrating a ninth associated with building the village -which raised £3,500. successive Gold Award while some of the older Rok businesses have gained President’s Then Rok joined up with sub-contractors at the site and Awards from the society for a run of Gold Awards. Commenting on the news from Wakefield, pledged cash for every week the development remains Peter Hardy,Yorkshire health and safety leader for Rok, said: “This award is a recognition of the fact that free from safety incidents and in a just a few weeks a everybody has bought into the health and safety ethos of the company, across all of our sites further £2,500 had been levied.Team Leader James Barker and at all levels of the company.This consistent adherence to health and safety and site manager Scott Parkinson handed over the regulations means we have an excellent record, which has been cheque and visited the hospice.They said: “The hospice was bright and cheerful and we were very impressed. celebrated by RoSPA.” We are delighted to support such a worthy cause.” 6 WORKNEWSWORKNEWSWORKNEWS 5 TheRightChemistry According to Maria Simmonds, MD of international acoustic, smoke and fire containment specialist, Lorient, her company’s appointment of Rok to build its new premises was ‘probably our most important decision.’ Writing in Lorient’s newsletter, she goes on to say that the chemistry in a team of people working together under pressure and to tight deadlines and budgets cannot be overestimated. “Before long the Rok team and Lorient were forging a very strong partnership,” she says paying tribute also to the way the Exeter office pulled together with the architects Kensington Taylor; engineers Willocks and Mitie to make Lorient’s dream a reality. Even before work began, staff from Rok and Lorient gave up their free time to assist with installing bat boxes on the site and spread mowings’ to enhance the area’s important heathland habitats. Heather and gorse seeds from the site have been used to help restore bare and damaged areas of the heathland. Keeping Connected With upward of 600 building sites in operation at any one time, keeping them all connected to the outside world using the best available technology is naturally a challenge for Rok’s IT team. Now IT director Richard Gifford has centralised Olympian makes the cut the process by which sites are connected, rather than having each site manager making his or her own arrangements.The move is adding huge value; reducing costs by 30 percent and “ Cathy Partington, Rok’s Project Manager at increasing service by 20 percent. So far about a fifth of sites are using this arrangement and Leigh Sports Village, rubbed shoulders with “This is a really good the numbers are growing. "It was ad hoc before with site managers buying services Paralympic silver medallist Chris Pugh when local community project, from a range of suppliers in the absence of a group-wide solution," said he attended the Turf Cutting Ceremony for with a fantastic Rok Team Richard. His answer was a virtual network operator, Sirocom, which he the swimming pool there. who are totally committed to commissioned to provide the connectivity and Tiscali making the whole of the Sports provides the internet access. Chris, a local lad and butterfly swimmer, won ” Village project a success”. said Cathy a silver medal at the Sydney Olympics as part of the hugely successful Great Britain team who collected the most medals in the pool - 62 in total - and came third behind Canada and Spain for the number of golds. The shell of the Leigh East Clubhouse is complete and work is now beginning on the Sports Hall and Pool. Time Capsule for new look library Truro office joined in a Darren Gunn prepares to seal the what is a time capsule under St Ives Library ceremony to mark the official handover of the library at St Ives, which it framework? One of our shareholders raised the subject of jargon at refurbished for the County Council, by sealing a time capsule under the tiled floor of the last AGM and it is true that lots of new words have the reception area. crept into our industry that not everyone understands. Also present was the One such is ‘framework’ and dispensing with open market Mayor, councillors, library Rok Citizen asked our resident competition. Customers can use staff and local school frameworks expert Gavin them to obtain services that are children.The capsule, Fraser, who has probably done tailored to their needs. which will be re-opened more than anyone to help Rok Frameworks usually have large in 25 years time, contains win them, to explain. annual values and run for a artwork from by the number of years, typically children, information on Framework agreements are long the 19th century library between three and seven. term relationships often based and copies of local on continuous, measurable The one-off nature of this newspapers. improvement.They enable method of choosing a company “ customers to negotiate a series to provide building services of previously undetermined means customers can examine “We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to transform this wonderful building, improving projects with one or more thoroughly the ability of the and adding to it to provide a really important resource for the local community. Main feature of ” chosen service provider.They company and its suppliers to the new look building is a modern barrel extension which houses a relaxation area with a reduce the risk to customers of bring real benefits for them. coffee machine and newspapers on the first floor.” said Rok contracts manager Darren Gunn officemoves There has been a lot of activity Such comings and since the last issue of Rok Citizen goings have not in terms of office openings and been restricted to relocations. Bristol Development has the South. In ‘gone up in the world’ with a move to Yorkshire the larger office on the ninth floor of Wakefield office has Clifton Heights, where the team now a new look in a new has views to rival the those from the building and there are Southampton office. now Rok offices in Preston and Redruth office has upped sticks and Leeds. It is fair to say, with the exception of shifted to Truro where we used to Wales, Scotland and East Anglia that where have a base and into smart premises ever you go in the UK you are not far from a which have been given the Rok Rok office or the chance of passing a Rok van treatment complete with a stunning so next time you’re travelling out of your area photo on the whole of one wall of the why not call in to your nearest Rok office as I Cornish coast. am sure you will receive a warm welcome. 7 Succeeding by Degrees AWARDSNEWSAWARDS Top of the Form 55 Customer leader Melissa Barber with pupils from Charlton Mackrell School. 5 When Caroline Leeson, Regional Supply Chain Manager for London, graduated as a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS), she was presented with her degree by president of the CIPS – none other than Rok’s own Supply Chain Director, Dr Jane Gibbs. The graduation ceremony in Nottingham saw more than 250 people, from all over the world, collect their degrees.The CIPS has some 40,000 worldwide members and study for the qualification, which has been accredited as an honours level degree, takes up to four years (part-time) to complete. Taunton office won prizes in two wrote agents’ particulars for their houses They even categories at the Somerset Linx learned learned construction words and phrases in Education Business Awards for its work French! The second award, for outstanding with schools in the local community. contribution by a business to education, was given in One award was presented jointly to Rok and recognition of all of the community work Rok has Charlton Mackrell CE Primary School after a teacher done with local schools over the past year. It from the school spent a placement day with Rok included work with CITB,Young Enterprise and Business Dynamics as well as projects with schools. Support For during which where she visited a site. Back at school, she took construction into every subject on Rok hosted students on work experience, took part 5 the curriculum, from Art and Design Technology - in business and industry days, carried out a primary where the children made scale model houses - to programme with Young Enterprise and attended 5 English where they various careers events. Tim Thompson (left) with three local residents in the cab – and Tom Titherington (right) Library’s Award-winning Winning Ideas Stamp Of Approval First winner of the Rok Green Award is Newcastle site The Jubilee Library, built by Rok in Brighton has won another award – this time for being the country’s most manager Ray Poole who came up with a scheme for recycling all the cardboard and packaging that comes with Scheme off the energy efficient public building. In the ‘Building of the Year’ category of the Ethical Awards, launched this year by The kitchen and bathroom fittings. Rok Newcastle uses a depot to store the units before installing them in the homes it is upgrading and was paying £200 a week to Drawing Board Guardian and Ecover who make ecological cleaning products, the have the packaging taken away in skips.There were A housing scheme that won an award library caught the imagination of the judges.They were impressed by the way this relatively inexpensive and understated public building costs to the environment too in terms of transport before a brick was laid is now coming brings a new civic pride and sets a sustainable tone for the area's and landfill.That was when Ray decided there had to ‘out of the ground’ and is set to wider regeneration. It also represents a smart local response be a better way. He hired a baler at £68 a week to change the face of Southwark to climate change. Instead of depending on mechanical compress the waste into cardboard and plastic bales that Council’s Bermondsey Spa systems of heating and cooling buildings, this could be sent for recycling in one trip and make money! Regeneration Area. The plans scooped a project is about relearning the old science Housing Design Award in 2005 for of natural ventilation. architects Levitt Bernstein, developer Hyde Housing Association, builders Rok and Maintenance Leader planning authority London Borough of Support for Tony Parnell said: “ Southwark. It impressed particularly with “Cricklepit Mill is a the way it will embrace St James Church, a Wildlife fascinating site and the plans for it will result in local landmark, as a focal point. Phase one will provide 211 apartments and Trust The Building and Maintenance a regeneration project of which Exeter can be proud.We look forward to our ongoing maisonnettes in two eight-storey buildings. The work forms part of a much larger regeneration project led by Southwark Council within one of the most teams from Rok Exeter have relationship with the disadvantaged areas of the Borough. followed the example of their DWT and helping their colleagues in Rok Development work through our close ” Rok’s Jasper Akerman said: “This is the and become supporters of the ties as corporate kind of partnership project with which Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT). supporters.” Rok loves to be involved, helping build To mark the move, some of the team sustainable communities which will were given a tour of the historic Cricklepit Mill where Rok has benefit local residents. We’ve worked been clearing the site in readiness for its transformation into a with The Hyde Group on a number of new headquarters for DWT.They were also presented with a occasions and have been able to bring certificate acknowledging their support. that knowledge, and our extensive The new HQ will be constructed using eco-friendly materials experience in the social housing sector, and with the latest energy-saving technology and the Mill’s to the preparation of the specification ancient water wheel will be restored to its former working for these new homes”. glory with the potential to grind once again.The interpretation centre aims to provide an area with running water, birdsong The first two blocks which will emerge at and wild flowers, offering a place of rare tranquillity in the Bermondsey Spa will meet the Eco Homes heart of the busy city centre. very good standard and incorporate the ‘Lifetime Homes’ concept – which means Pictured with the water wheel in the background are DWT corporate their initial design can be readily adapted relations officer Tracy Ebrell,Tony Parnell, DWT communications officer Dave Ireland and Rok regional customer leader Sarah Walkup to take account of occupants future needs. 8 NEWSAWARDSNEWSAWARDSNEWS 5 Scott Dann, British Commonwealth Middleweight Boxing Champion, presents Katy Mountjoy with her certificate. 5 5 What Katy Did Katy Mountjoy, an estimating assistant, won an award for Best Progress in the Level 3 BTEC National Certificate in Construction from her college. At a ceremony in Plymouth College, Katy was the only female among 28 students who received awards.These were given to the top students in each year across a number of courses including plastering, woodwork Best in the South West Pupils and teachers at Nover’s Lane School, Bristol featured on the cover of Rok’s award winning Annual Report and plumbing. Rok’s Annual Report has won an Marriott Royal Hotel along with Vicky Sponsored by Allied Irish Bank in award for its content and design. Banham and Leigh Johnstone of The conjunction with the Western Daily Katy received a certificate, a Ten judges selected Rok as winner Design Stable. Rok was presented with Press, the event was well attended and cheque for £50 and two books of Best Annual Report Design & an engraved blue glass decanter as a hosted by former ITV West anchorman on construction topics. She Presentation and Communication category winner and also collected Richard Lyddon.The audience heard attends college one day a week of Information at the third annual commendations in two other that Rok’s annual report had and gained Distinctions in all the South West Financial & Corporate units of her course during the categories – Best Use of Electronic demonstrated the best look and layout Communications Awards. and shown clarity and transparency of first year and her second year. Communications and Best SW Her next step is a three year Company Secretary Julian Turnbull Chairman/Chief Executive information. It was described as a ‘must degree in construction. attended the Event at the Bristol Communicator of the Year Award. read’ annual report. 5 5 Rok has been awarded a star by Best Companies for ‘Very Good’ practice in the workplace and the way it engages with its people. Best Companies Accreditation, which was launched in Another Star For Rok 5 5 practices and great leadership, as defined by their own employees. Every organisation completing the Accreditation Jonathan Austin, CEO of Best Companies presents a Star to Rok’s Sue Flavin (left) and Vicky Banham. 5 London with Gordon Ramsay as process is given a score which defines whether or guest speaker, was developed 5 not it achieves 'Star Status'. Stars range from One to acknowledge Highly Commended Star (Very Good), through Two Stars (Excellent) to and reward Three Stars (Exceptional). New building work at Gratnor Farm organisations that near Newton Abbot earned Rok Exeter provide excellent Scores for this year were based on employees’ a ‘highly commended’ in the domestic workplaces, responses to 16 key questions in the survey completed dwelling category from Devon Building Control excellent for the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For List Partnership at the 2006 ‘Built-In Quality’ Awards. workplace in which Rok came 71st. Brian Berman,Teignbridge Council Executive 5 Spokesperson for Planning and Housing Strategy, said: “It is clear the Awards provide well- deserved recognition to those who Riverside Mill Wins Awards Advantage SW are setting standards for the industry in the region.” Improvements to a Grade II Listed Mill in Bovey Tracey for The Devon Guild of Craftsmen won the accolade ‘Heritage Project of the Year’ at the annual Takes Gold Rok’s partner on a number of housing Michelmores and Western Morning News Commercial Property Awards. projects in the South West, Advantage SW (ASW) has won a Gold Award Photo: Carol Ballenger from the Housing Corporation. A ceremony at London’s Globe Theatre saw five awards made in the first presentation of its kind by the corporation with one going to Advantage SW for Innovation In Procurement. As a winner, ASW will be given a grant to spread the word about what it has achieved with its partners including Rok. Making up ASW are Ocean Housing, South Somerset Homes, Devon and Cornwall Housing and North Devon Homes. Rok has Rok’s £1 million scheme to refurbish Riverside Mill created One of the judges, Judith Mullarkey, said that more and framework agreements with all four. Among a new gallery, extended crafts shop and roof terrace cafe. more buildings were being converted, redeveloped or the schemes featured in publicity about the pressed into service for purposes never intended for award is the one Rok completed "A group of ten Alex Murdin, from the Guild, said: them and it was the ingenuity, vision and ability of a wide for Ocean in Cornwall. By craftsmen had vision when they bought variety of project teams that was effectively saving many working together and with the mill building back in 1986 when older properties. Rok, the housing associations have they barely had two pennies to rub Now the largest dedicated space for contemporary craft in achieved a significant together. Although this project was quite the region, the Mill has disabled access, a ‘living’ roof reduction in cost per small in value, it was hugely important to covered with sedum plants and a spacious shop whilst square metre and cut those craftsmen." retaining the character of the original building. construction time from 26 to 12 weeks. 9 Mark (left) and Stuart with their certificates. Vince Carrick wishes Rok People Director Paul Wilkinson luck with his walk. COMMUNITYNEWSCO Pipework at Yeovil’s Women Into Construction Day Wall’s Well That Ends Well WomenintoConstruction People director Paul Wilkinson combined a “ Girls from schools across Somerset had an insight behalf of CITB-ConstructionSkills, Brian Davenport, said: love of walking with a into building during a ‘Women into Construction Day’ “There has never been a more exciting time to chance to contribute to ” organised by the Yeovil Rok Centre with CITB- join the construction industry, we are working a good cause when he ConstructionSkills and Yeovil College.The event was closely with local companies, such as Rok, to conquered Hadrian’s Wall aimed at encouraging young women to consider a organise these events to help highlight the in aid of a Club in his career in the industry and showing that it is no longer diverse range of careers available in the industry home town. ” just a man’s world.The students spent a day talking to and to encourage more young people, especially Paul dressed as a women who were already carving out successful girls into construction.” Roman to publicise his trek careers. Rok provided taster sessions in painting and which started at Wallsend and finished one decorating; surveying and site management. week, several blisters and some 102 miles later Construction Curriculum Co-ordinator for at Bowness-on-Solway raising funds for Wallsend Somerset Education Business Partnership, on Having a Ball Boys’ Club to build new changing rooms and Yeovil office has given a village Under Ten football team a football pitches. At one point, Paul and his helping hand by donating ten footballs.The newly formed squad is walking companion, Stuart McLean were joined Let’s Dance entering a team in the Yeovil and District Youth League in the Autumn. by Lynn Moir, Robin Cairns and Mike Herford Colourful costumes and smiling Coach Jane Haine, who works for Knightstone Housing and whose son from Newcastle Rok Centre for the 16-mile faces were to the fore when Matthew is in the squad, said: “We had one team, Stoke Youth, in the league stretch from Bardon Mill to Walton. Paul, said: “I talented Brighton and Hove last year but with so many children wanting to play we created the Stoke am more proud than words can say to school children gathered for this Scorpions.The new footballs from Rok are already being well used as we contribute in a small way to helping Wallsend year’s Rok sponsored Let’s train for our league debut in the autumn and the team is very excited.” Boys’ Club in their fund-raising especially as I am Dance Celebration. The three a Wallsend lad born and bred.Wallsend Boys’ day festival at The Dome featured In Crawley, the girls football team at Oaks Primary School sponsored by Rok Club vice chairman,Vince Carrick, whose son is “ more than 1,000 youngsters aged Development, has had a successful year reaching the semi-final of the Spurs and England midfielder Michael Carrick, said: schools’ cup.They also reached the semi-final of the schools’ league ” between five and 18 from schools and “This is a fantastic gesture by both Paul and youth clubs. They performed original which they won 2-1. The icing on the cake was when they Rok to help the club.” dance routines to an audience of 2,000 won the team prize at a youth achievement award ceremony. parents and friends. Board Breaking Work Our Kung-fu fighters from Rok Durose & Gourlay, Ray Wilson and Steven Whiteley, Jo Prepares To Jump Somehow Rok Development’s Jo said she was actually looking Tim Titheridge persuaded forward to the tandem skydive have been flexing their muscles again this Jo Munford to throw herself over Salisbury Plain as the view time on behalf of a young wheelchair user. out of a perfectly good would be good! Wessex Cancer The two site managers featured in a previous aeroplane! – Perhaps he Trust raises money to support Rok Citizen with the DVD they made to help wanted a new secretary! those whose lives have been teenagers cope with bullying. Now they have touched by cancer. put their weight behind an appeal to help the But she wasn’t alone. As Rok Citizen went to press, Jo and 25 family of 14 year-old Rachel Parkes adapt their Did you know one in three people others were preparing for a will be affected by the disease? car to take her wheelchair. Rachel has a rare parachute jump to raise money condition which is causing bone to form in her for Wessex Cancer Trust, which The charity brings relief to muscles and immobilising her. Steven managed sufferers across the region by to break 20 boards with his feet or fists and his “ is celebrating its Silver Jubilee year and whose chairman is Tim.They supporting research, education, stunt raised more than £1500 towards Rachel’s planned to reach the ground in leaflets, improvements to facilities, dream. Ray says: “We’re up to about £4,000 one piece after hurtling through purchase of equipment and now thanks to our work colleagues and the air at 120mph while freefalling financial help for patients others but there is still a way to go so we ” Jo and Tim outside Solent Rok Centre 5,000 feet! and families. are talking about parachute jumps next.” 10 55 5 COMMUNITYNEWSCO Helping Cyclists ‘Stay Safe’ Young cyclists are being encouraged to enjoy the sport safely thanks to Rok’s Crawley office which is supporting its local community by Steve’s Pupils of Warberry Primary funding cycling kits for youngsters in the town and lessons on how to stay safe on the roads. Blind Date School prepare for the opening of their new classrooms. Rok is providing the shirts and shorts for Crawley Cycling Club’s Under 16s to wear when racing around the UK, and also funding a Headteacher Rhona Griffin presented site Rok has just finished a new classroom block and helped ‘Go Ride!’ training session teaching cycling manager Steve Bovey with a certificate the children place three time capsules inside. Rhona said: skills in the town centre. “ confirming that he was a star after his appearance in the Variety Performance at "The builders will be missed.The team, Crawley Cycling Club Secretary Alan Denman Warberry Primary School in Torquay. Steve’s role? especially the site manager, Steve Bovey, made said: “We are so grateful to Rok.The kids love He was a Blind Date contestant, dubbed a Rok Star everything run very smoothly and the team their cycling and it is great to see them getting Builder, competing against a community policeman and out and about rather than sitting in front of a got involved with school life.The building is an international spy. He had to answer his question with television or computer.They are really looking superb and the children are delighted with it”. forward to wearing the new racing kit.” a song and dance so naturally sang ‘Bob the Builder’, The children sent thank you letters and among dressed in all his Rok gear. It went down a storm with The cycling club has around 30 members in its them were the words: "Dear Rok, your work is ” pupils and parents but the lady choosing declared she junior section – some as young as six – who couldn’t decide and opted instead for Mr Wright – who outstanding. We love it. It’s magical. compete in races in Brighton, Reading, and as just happens to be the School caretaker. We are so glad!” far afield as Wales. Rok’s Sara Harrison and Clare Johnson with residents Maureen and Bob Outlaw Residents’ Choice Experts have been advising residents of a Middlesbrough housing estate on the choices available for the massive refurbishment programme underway on their homes. Over the next four years, Erimus Housing, with help from Rok and Dunelm Property Services, will renovate some 800 homes in Pallister Park.Work will be carried out on central heating systems, boilers, kitchens, bathrooms, wiring, windows and Premises co-ordinator Bradford and Airedale PCT, Joanne external doors. Aboard a mobile exhibition unit on the estate Hitchen-Vause and Rok’s Yorkshire region leader, Paul Franklin were resident liaison officers from Erimus, Rok and Dunelm, ready to give advice and talk through the work. A DVD featuring several ‘Rok stars’ was also available covering all Bradford Mill aspects of the project in order to inform and reassure Restored to Community Banjo Man tenants about the work that would be going on around them. A partnership between Rok and developers “ Geoff Prior, Erimus’ Head of Programmed Investment, said: EIDO has restored a 19th Century textile mill “The Mobile Exhibition Unit is an excellent facility. At as the proud new home of Bradford Primary Elderly residents enjoyed a sing song when Rok the start of each estate’s modernisation, we hold Open Days and Choice Days on the unit to allow tenants to Care Trust (PCT). Douglas Mill was built in site manager John Cowley took along his banjo to Turnbull Court in Leeds where he was working ask questions and view the choices available to enable 1878 and had become a neglected eyesore on a refurbishment programme and gave an them to personalise their homes. In addition, tenants are before EIDO bought it and asked Rok to impromptu concert to thank them for their given explanatory brochures and a DVD highlighting the redesign and refurbish it as offices.The contract patience during the improvement work.The modernisation process from start to completion. At the included cleaning the stone, refurbishing and contract with Housing 21, which provides end of our first full year of modernisations under Erimus insulating ceilings and putting in a car park.The ” independence and choice in accommodation for Housing our customer satisfaction levels are currently work on site took a year to complete. elderly people, has seen Rok’s Wakefield and very high standing at 96 per cent satisfied.” Manchester teams renovating kitchens and replacing bathrooms in a total of 392 units on ten “ RokInBloom sites. John said: “When working in people’s homes, it is important to keep disruption to a minimum but we understand that it can be a stressful time for some of the residents.The response to the The team at a site in Southport, where Rok work has been very good from the residents is building a seven storey apartment block, and when I talked to them and the home brightened the lives of passing locals with a ” manager, we agreed that we could have a small floral display worthy of Britain In Bloom. In social gathering at Turnbull Court and put on a little musical entertainment for them.” fact the team entered the local round of the competition, Southport In Bloom, and had their green fingers crossed in the hope that the judges would decide to pay a visit. Project manager Keith Rok’s Liz Johnson (second left) helps prepare Shotton said the idea ‘grew’ after the team unearthed hanging baskets for Nunthorpe some granite sets that had formed part of an old access In Middlesbrough, the Tees Valley office helped road.They decided to use them to build two flower residents in Nunthorpe with their entry for beds at the pedestrian entrance to the site to make it Northumbria in Bloom. Rok and Parian look a bit different. Engineer Alaric Neilson, a keen Developments donated money for plants and gardener, then filled the beds with a variety of flowers materials and helped make the baskets. School to create the Rok name in one and the England flag in children were also taught about the different kinds the other. “I wasn’t sure how long they would last of plants and flowers, and how to maintain and but it’s surprising how well they’ve been received,” John Cowley entertains residents at Turnbull Court look after hanging baskets. said Keith. 11 5 COMMUNITYCHALLENGECOMMUN 55 Since Rok completed the first Community Challenge in Exeter a few years ago, the idea Taking up the Challenge has really gathered momentum with most offices picking up the baton and running with it.The idea is that the offices find out from Over The Rainbow their local communities where there are projects or premises that could do with a face-lift and then organise a posse of helpers from the community to roll their sleeves up and do the work assisted by Rok’s expertise, contacts and volunteers. Garvis Snook said: “These challenges help us get closer to the communities of which we are a part and understand Eric Bunting under them better.They mean we can really the rainbow with engage with communities and help helpers at St Mark’s them help themselves at the same time “ as providing huge opportunities for personal growth and fulfilment to all A pie shop supplied 60 Hall, in Exeter to give it a fresh "The makeover is those who take part.” sausages, rolls and burgers to new look and a large rainbow fantastic. All the users enthusiastic volunteers who mural on one wall.The church will love it. It is even transformed a church hall one hall is used by a pre-school better than I thought it weekend during a Rok group and after-school club, would be." Community Challenge. Sixty Brownies, Guides, slimming, Project leader, Rok’s Eric people, including employees bingo and craft groups, Age from Rok, HSBC and Exeter Concern and even a fuchsia Bunting, said: "Everyone has ” Liza Goddard had fun and that is Express and Echo, painted and society. Marion Boult, caretaker decorated St Mark's Church of the hall, said afterwards: what it is all about." BePrepared! Rok showed it will always ‘Be Prepared’ to help by organising a community taskforce of its local suppliers to transform a crumbling scout hut near its new office in Brighton. The dilapidated Woodingdean Scout Hut was refurbished beyond the scout group’s wildest dreams thanks to its new neighbour who enlisted the help of some 16 sub- contractors – all experts in a range of building skills - to donate their services free of charge. As part of the four- week project, Rok staged a one-day challenge where staff No Moaner this Liza! joined parents of the scouts to work together on internal and external painting as well as a spot of gardening. Ready to Rok and Roll at the scout hut - Rok and the extensive supply chain from Brighton Trade Windows, ESP Electrical,Times Plastering, Coney Brothers, Phoenix Systems,W F Electrical and Everest Miles Eastbourne Rok had a surprise visit from actress Liza Goddard at its latest Community Challenge. Liza, known for TV roles in Bergerac and Give us a Rokers ready to roll L-r, Kim Baskott (Finishing Touches), Laura Pearce Clue, helped Rok provide the Samaritans Centre (Rok), Adrian Fox (Rok), Becky Dadds (Rok), Jenny Hodge (Rok), Katy Mountjoy (Rok) and Dave Fackrell (DWF Internal Finishing). with a much needed revamp.The transformation included decorating the visitors’ rooms and entrance to give the building a much brighter look and the knocking down walls to make a bigger call area. Mike Pearson, Eastbourne Local Customer Leader, said “It’s been fantastic that we have been able to help such a worthwhile charity. The 24 hour support the volunteers provide to people in need is an invaluable source for the Eastbourne community.” The team also provided a brand new settee and three computer desks. Sprucing Up St Luke’s A hospice is celebrating the redecoration of one of its new buildings after volunteers from Rok Plymouth and their suppliers joined dozens of others for a spot of painting. bits! As well as painting, there were benches to Cornwall and is dependent on the support of the Pearn House, a former nursing home which St Luke's make and varnish and some planting to do in the public and local community.The new facilities will Hospice is moving into, was in serious need of some TLC. gardens. St Luke’s provides care to more than enable it to help around 500 more people each Rok rose to the challenge and took along a team of 2,000 patients and their families every year year and will be the base for its day services and professional painters and decorators for the more difficult throughout southwest Devon and southeast outreach care. 12 RENEWSLEISURENEWS 55 5 Max with eight-year old North American wolf sisters “Duma and Dakota” at one Weighty Support of the many shows he attends WalkingwithWolves throughout the year. A team from the Brighton office put their backs into a charity event in aid of the local Hospice. Eleven teams of solicitors, printers, insurance companies and Reading Technician Max Beare has many builders, lined up against each other in a tug-of-war contest! The Rok Solid varied interests, he even has his own website Crew came up trumps and won raising more than £250.00 for the cause. where he lists them all. Perhaps the most surprising is that he helps look after wolves. His interest in these much maligned animals stemmed from his days as a Dog Handler with the Ministry of Defence.Thinking this experience might be useful, he offered his services to the UK Wolf Conservation Trust and they were snapped up (sorry!) The Trust is based near Reading and after additional training, he was able to assist at shows and fetes.And his other hobbies? Well he is a Morris Dancer and makes all manner of things including walking sticks, model vehicles and railways, boats, rocking horses and dolls houses. Why not take a look for yourself by visiting his website www.maxbeare.co.uk The MG Midgets raced by John, winecolumn Steve and Pete Collinson. Contact me with details of your unusual hobbies – Ed. OZ – by Imbiber Sibling Rivalry New Heights Reaches Brothers John, Steve and Pete Collinson have taken Supermarkets today have such an array of their sibling rivalry to a new level by choosing to vehicle. Steve, who is building team leader at Reading Rok Australian wines it is often impossible to compete against each other in this year’s MG Midget Centre was last seen in Rok Citizen hill climbing but in his decide which one to go for. So often it is Challenge, a national race series for MG Midgets and words he has ‘moved on a bit since then’ and is now circuit better to consider a winery who if they can ship and sell to the UK must have Austin Healey Sprites (built 1956-1979). According to racing.The brothers’ escapades are attracting quite a lot of something about them. One of the last their Team Sibling Rivalry website, the battles are less about attention including an article in Retro Cars magazine. So far privately owned vinyards in Australia is whose wheels are first to take the chequered flag and more Pete has recorded the best finish of the three with a third so Brown Brothers which is located in North about who buys the race fuel and who washes the support there all to play for before the end of the season. East Victoria and covers approximately 1,500 acres where some 25 different grape varieties are grown. Within the vineyard there are a number of different climates; changes that range from being as cool as Germany to as warm as Spain. Hence the numerous different grape varieties that are BEAR ON THE PISTE! grown. Thanks to the efforts of winemakers Reading’s Rok bear tried winter sports for He tried snow boarding to start with but such as Brown Brothers,Australia has now the first time this year with a trip to Val sensibly gave it up as a bad job and just another overtaken Italy to become Britain’s second D’Isere, in France with contracts manager fad anyway! But he took to skiing instantly and largest wine supplier after France. Anthony Barry and his girlfriend Elaine Sibley. the après-ski! Rok Bear soaking up the sun and the atmosphere in the Alps. The two wines that I particularly like from this vineyard are the Muscat which sells at under £5.00 a bottle and the red Tarrango, slightly more expensive, but not over £6 a bottle. Both are on the shelves of most of Eastbourne Eagles Trevor Geer, who works on rode for Oxford and White City with Rok gets behind the the major supermarkets. Eastbourne Eagles insurance claims for Rok Maintenance the sport taking him all over Europe. The Muscat is an easy ‘glugging’ wine that out of Eastbourne, has brought his His ’15 minutes of fame’ came with an smells so wonderfully floral, grapey and passion for Speedway to the office and appearance in the Sweeney alongside lemony, you may well think it is going to be persuaded Rok to sponsor the local John Thaw.Alan Chick, a project sweet but it is bone dry with lovely club where he is manager. For those manager at Crawley, who used to refreshing acidity and intense flavours. It is who don’t know, Speedway is a sport write programme notes for the club at its best lightly chilled. for 500cc motorbikes with no brakes says he recalls a gruesome incident Unique to Australia is the Tarrango grape and no suspension racing round a when Trevor came off his machine which produces a light red wine, similar to a narrow indoor track. Eastbourne and severed a toe. Rok’s fruity, juicy cherryish Beaujolais but with a Eagles is one of the oldest and most sponsorship will mean its logo little more richness. There are aromas of successful clubs and Trevor rode will be on view to Sky Sports juicy, ripe strawberries and a hint of cherry and spice. I believe it should be served very professionally there before moving into viewers watching the Elite cold, unusual for a red wine, however light. promotion and management. He also League races. 13 55 PEOPLENEWSPEOPLE 5 W Garvis Snook helps Sandra open the new School of Rok SchoolofRok A Day In The Life Of: Michelle Johnson Forty-five year old, Middlesbrough-born mother of three, Michelle Johnson is a resident liaison officer with Rok Tees Valley. 6:45am Alarm goes off but I've been awake since 4:15 due to the dawn chorus of birds!!! Have a quick breakfast before waking my grumpy teenage daughters for school and work and get ready for work by putting on my steel-toe-capped boots, hard hat and high visibility vest (don't think it will ever become a fashion item though!). Rok’s new training facility was officially can accommodate up to 100 people for 7:40am Leave for work and 20 minutes later it’s opened by co-ordinator Sandra meetings. It has a variety of room sizes time for my first job of the day, liaising with my site Kennedy who cut a ribbon during a which can be arranged for lectures or short celebration attended by some of seminars. Rooms are air-conditioned and manger and work team to go through the day’s its first ‘students’. well lit. Hot and cold drinks are available and itinerary.This is also when I feed back information a selection of lunches can be ordered. from the tenants who are already having work carried School of Rok, on the top floor of Crawley The facility is free of charge to Rok Citizens out in their homes. Rok Centre, is used for Taste of Rok and there is a brochure that can be induction courses and a range of activities 8:30am Time to go up on site to visit the tenants downloaded from Roknet. If anyone would including seminars and get-togethers. It has and ensure that everything is going smoothly. I have a like more details they should contact Sandra all the latest presentation equipment and little chat with them to address any queries they may on 01293 643100. have. They are all lovely and I have built up a really good rapport with them. 10:00am After a short catch-up with the site Reporting for Duty manager it’s back to the office, grab a coffee and type Technician Kevin Bates has received a service medal for a three month some letters for the next tenants that we are due to tour of duty in Iraq with the TA Royal Engineers as a Lance Corporal. Kevin be working with. who works from Stafford Rok Centre was based in Shaibah which is a large 10:30am Off to a meeting at Area 3 Housing resources park issuing materials used in rebuilding the country. He says it Forum with all the partners and residents involved was extremely hot, dirty and with the Erimus Modernisation scheme. We go very dry (no beer). through any area issues and inform the forum of progress of works. Bride of Place 12:00pm Back to the office to discuss the meeting It was a right royal Rok occasion when Surveyor and Rok Communication Group member, Ian Perry, married Sarah Lees with the Project Manager and grab a sandwich, who is a PA at Brighton Rok Centre.The couple tied the knot at another coffee, quick check of emails and deal with The Old Tollgate Hotel where Rok was working on an extension any messages left by tenants. and refurbishment contract.At least any technical hitches could be swiftly sorted out one imagines! 1:15pm Back out again! This time it’s a pre-start of works visit with the tenants.This is to give them all Ian has been with Rok for nine years having been ‘acquired’ with the information about work due to start and also to the Llewellyn business. He met Sarah two years ago when she give them the opportunity to ask any questions or joined the company. A romantic at heart, he proposed during a voice any concerns that they may have. weekend in Barcelona, by getting down on one knee in a restaurant by the sea. 3:00pm Paperwork time! Update tenants’ information files and deal with any tenant inquiries. Also, check the maintenance book for any faults Bowie Bows Out Tom’s a Real Brick reported and pass them on to the relevant people. 3:45pm Back up to site to make a final visit of the Rok technician When Wakefield technician Tom Kirby helped rebuild a wall for a Rotherham pensioner he felt the contract did not go far day to the tenants and make sure they all have Colin Bowie has retired enough. The wall had been damaged by vandals and Tom arrived in cooking, heating and water supplies and that they are after clocking up a total of response to the owner, 86 year-old Edgar Stanton, who had made an happy with the progress. 29 years service as a insurance claim. Edgar’s cover paid for the wall to be restored to how it decorator. His record is all 4:30pm A final check on any messages and emails was but he told Tom and his colleague the more remarkable given before going home and, finally, a chance to get the Ian Allsop that he would really like it a that Colin is a member of boots off and slip into some comfy flats ready for the little higher and capped.Tom decided food shop expedition. With two teenagers I never the Reading Deaf and that if Edgar paid for the materials, he seem to have anything in, even though I could have Dumb Association. His would return in his own time to do the sworn I went shopping yesterday. “ retirement ends a long work.Tom takes up the story. association with fellow “When Mr Stanton told us what he 7.30pm Time for 50 pairs of hands as I pop the painter,Wally Glasgow. was looking for, we could picture washing in, run a duster around at the same time, immediately how nice the wall tackle the ironing and have dinner with the kids. At Colin’s farewell party he would look when it was completed was presented with a DVD and felt it was a shame not to do it. 10:00pm Run a nice bubble bath and soak those player-recorder with disks; To cap it all, It seemed no real trouble to help out aching little toes and then off to bed to get ready to a video recorder and a Tom puts the a man who had suffered at the start another busy day! ” finishing touches bottle of whisky! to the wall. hands of vandals, so I agreed I would This article previously appeared in Teesside Evening Gazette. do the work for him.” 14 WORKNEWSWORKNEWSWORKNEWS Chop Chop One Chinese Restaurant Coming Up The largest Oriental superstore and a comprehensive range of Chinese and restaurant in Scotland is being built for Vietnamese food and speciality products from SeeWoo Foods by the Glasgow team.The the Orient, including a wide variety of exotic 90,000 square-feet development will have a fruits, vegetables and live seafood. Rok project cash and carry store offering a huge range of manager John Mitchell said: SeeWoo Foods Limited fresh products, while a brand new restaurant - Chairman, Stanley Tse, Rok’s capable of seating 500 customers – is “SeeWoo has shown great vision by John McDonald, and SeeWoo Foods Limited Managing being created on the ground-floor. choosing to extend its existing Director,Tony Tse. building into one of the most The external and internal construction work is running impressive and biggest Chinese almost hand-in-hand to give restaurants and cash and carry SeeWoo Foods Limited the facilities for the people of Scotland. earliest possible chance This has been a demanding project to start trading but Rok has a lot of experience in following the handover this kind of development.” of the building.The new facility will have 55 Suggestions Please! 5 A number of Rok offices have suggestion boxes and it is amazing how many great ideas are generated. Some offices even give a prize for the best ones. Among those that have come to the attention of Rok Citizen is the idea from Nigel Curry that all Friday post should be sent out 2nd class as businesses would not receive their post until Monday anyway - a saving of 8p per item. The Bristol office has also acted on the suggestion that its regular newsletter should be sent electronically to save paper except in the case of those without access to a pc. Are there any other bright ideas we should all know about? The things people find! Actors Anna Carus-Wilson and Neil Bett from Barking Productions ‘making a scene’ It’s amazing what you find on building sites! In the last few in the School of Rok. months we’ve heard about gunpowder which the bomb squad had to remove, marijuana growing on a farm where Rok Maintenance was working and antique beer bottles in a roof in Crewkerne.A Taunton technician came across an old army stretcher when he was working on public toilets and handed it over to the curator of a local museum. On the site at Cricklepit Mill, Exeter archaeologists uncovered a drinking vessel from the time of Henry VIII.While an old house in Southsea, undergoing a makeover, revealed a mummified parrot up the chimney! What is the most unusual thing you’ve ever come across in the course of your work? – Ed. A slice of the Action The highlight of one of the Taste of over! He did and he earned a well deserved Leadership courses was when one of the round of applause.The point of the whole delegates, took over from the actor exercise, and indeed the day, was to enable the playing a business owner and showed him delegates to look at what made good and how it should be done! effective leadership and to look within The whole process had been fascinating.Two themselves to see if they possessed these actors had set up a scene in which a business attributes and if not what they could do to relationship was foundering and the audience – develop them. Other activities included practical a group of those who had taken up Garvis’s challenges, team exercises and self analysis. At challenge to put themselves in a position where the beginning, Garvis had thrown down the TowerofStrength they could take up leadership roles within the business – were invited to intervene.They were meant to coach the errant businessman so that gauntlet and asked them to test their leadership capabilities by organising a Rok Community Challenge in their area. All was conducted using Poole Rok office secured £3 million of work as part of a he would reach a better outcome from his the superb new facilities on offer in the School make over at Tower Park Leisure Complex just a few meeting with his marketing consultant who had of Rok and in the knowledge that if you wish to hundred yards from the office. The contract lasted 18 stormed out following a succession of negative develop the skills you need to do something months during which time all the amenities were kept fully comments.With a new script provided by the new in Rok, there are people ready and willing operational. Work included a new plaza of restaurants featuring Flame Oriental,TGI Fridays, Kentucky Fried Chicken delegates, the actor tried again but one became to help you. and Nandos. Pictured at the grand opening is Rok’s Trevor so impassioned in his attempts to do it ‘the Rok White with PY Gerbeau, chief executive of X-Leisure. way’ that in the end the actor suggested he take See enclosed flyer for this year’s invitation 15 Rok Round-up What makes you happy? Outside of my family anything to do with the outdoors and fresh air. I particularly love fell-walking - for me, the higher the better. Anyone who sits in lengthy management meetings with me, may see my mind wandering from time to time, at that point INTERVIEW: Rob Bath Regional Leader, North West I’m out there, but I’m getting Bristol has a contract with the City Council worth £37.5 better at hiding it.! Which person, living or Who is your favourite million over five years for planned repairs and improvements dead, do you most admire? writer? What is your greatest fear? to housing stock in the north of Bristol. Nelson Mandela for his vision Mike Bullen, some of his work Getting to the end of my days and commitment to equality. has been adapted to TV like The owners of a former hotel converted by Torquay without feeling fulfilled. Cold Feet. Brilliant mix of black Who would be your ideal into seven luxury apartments were so delighted by the work What is your current state comedy and reality. dinner date? they threw a party for everyone in the penthouse flat. of mind? Katie Malua. What car do you drive? Absolutely bubbling (note the Sarah Holmes, a surveyor with Wokingham District Council, pun on Bath) about all aspects Mercedes E Class Diesel. Where would you take them? has been working with a team at a school in Reading to of my life. Vienna or Amsterdam, but don’t What is your claim to fame? see how a Rok building project is run. tell Jane, because I’m not sure Meeting James Nesbitt in a bar in What is your greatest On the last Friday of every month Teesside office holds a she would allow it. Portugal last year regret? breakfast meeting for customers and business associates to Not knowing both my What was the last film you If you died and could come share a bite to eat and a chat. Grandfathers, but beyond that saw at the cinema? back as anything what there have been times in my life The Constant Gardener. would it be? Poole is providing three pupils from local schools with when I have not made the most A Golden Eagle. experience of working in the construction industry this year. What is your catch phrase? of each day. If you ask my kids it would be If you were stranded on a Rok’s Airport team was responsible for the fit-out of What or who is the “Manners maketh Man” (from desert island what luxury the new Arrivals Hall at Terminal 3 Heathrow. greatest love of your life? Miss Hull when I was in Year 7). item would you wish for? Birmingham technician and cub leader Mick Hill used a My new wife Jane and two My other catch phrases are far Definitely my music collection Rok van to deliver equipment for the pack’s weekend camp teenage sons, Samuel and Luke. more basic than that. on ipod. and a good time was had by all. Rok donated and installed a brand new kitchen for Mercer Park bowling club in Clayton-Le-Moors near Bolton. Brighton is building a sports hall, dance studio, Congratulations to Glasgow’s Colin Hyslop community room and day nursery for the residents of Selsey. who has won the Rok Citizen Weekend Away Chester is creating a hi-tech engineers’ gallery for Airbus UK in Broughton. prize for contributors! His story, written after taking part in a white water raft race, was the judges’ favourite entry. HRH The Earl of Wessex opened the Willesden Centre for Well done to Colin and to David Matthew who nominated him.Thanks to everyone who entered; Health and Care built by a team from Crawley. there were some great ideas for future issues. Entries for next time should reach me by The development of new teaching facilities at Cornwall September 30th. Sadly there is only room here for an excerpt from Colin’s story but you can read College Newquay is on track for the start of the new the rest if you check out the Glasgow team page on Roknet or contact me – Vicky Banham. academic year thanks to a Plymouth team. Exeter is building a £2.2 million sports and healthy living centre at Uffculme School. On the count of 3...2…1… lead. Super-human efforts saw us Glasgow has won a £2 million contract to refurbish an and with a piercing blast leave the other two rafts in our wake engineering block at the University of Strathclyde. on a whistle, all eight teams and we were now in first place East Sussex County Council has asked Eastbourne to ran to their rafts for the flying (perhaps with some assistance from build aspecial needs unit and refurbish three classrooms at start. Our Mark didn’t quite get Mike sitting at the rear of the raft). Crowborough Beacon Community School. it right (although he says he We went so fast, we even caught up was pushed) and ended up with the last raft from the race in Rok is a finalist in the People Involvement and Development taking a dive that his fellow front and that’s when disaster struck. category of the 2006 London Excellence Awards to be Whilst trying to overtake them, ‘Scouser’, Steven Gerrard presented at a gala dinner. Mark’s paddle got caught up with the would have been proud of. Manchester has started work on two new offices in the Not only did he end up in paddles from the other vessel and £10million second phase of its work on the development of the ‘drink’ but being ‘ever- ended up heading off down stream Birchwood Park in Warrington. the-gentleman’, he pulled (No, the other boat wasn’t 13 year Carol in with him and much old Girl Guides as has been suggested Over 300 balloons were released to mark the opening of to every other teams by others) and being a man short (or three new classrooms Glastonbury Thorn School near amusement, the two of them was that ‘worse than a man short’) Milton Keynes. found themselves up to their and spent from our exertions, we Rok has won a multi-million pound maintenance contract necks in the freezing cold, snow were passed by two other rafts and from Anchor Trust, covering some 4,000 properties in the fed River Tay.When we managed finished an extremely creditable 3rd. North East and North Yorkshire. to pull them back into the boats and The generosity shown by all those get ourselves moving, we were a who donated, allowed us to raise Rok Oxford just completed a £1.2m kitchen good 50m behind the last team. But £1400 for the charity ‘Chest, Heart refurbishment at the 800 pupil, independent boys' school in did we accept defeat gracefully? Oh and Stroke Scotland’.A big thank you Middlesex, Merchant Taylors’. no! Drawing on all our determination goes to all those good enough to put Solent served up a ‘topping out’ ceremony to celebrate and embarrassment, we soon caught their hands in their pockets (yet significant progress on a Hotel for Ramada. the raft in front of us and, one by again) and to Michelle MacLean for Taunton sponsored a pitch & putt weekend at Cannington one, we picked off each of the other arranging a day that will never be where it is building a small animal centre for the College. crafts until 3 boats were vying for the forgotten by those who took part. Schoolchildren buried a time capsule in the foundations of a luxury new retirement village, Roseland Parc, being built by Truro. RokCitizen is brought to you by the Communication Group. Please send contributions for the next issue to your CG rep or to Rok Development sponsored an exhibition to mark the start of the conversion of Greyladyes chapel at The Editor, Rok Citizen, Bursledon into an arts centre. Rok Centre, Equity House, South Somerset Homes and Rok have provided nine families Blackbrook Business Park, with new homes in Aller near Yeovil. Blackbrook Park Avenue, 16 Taunton TA1 2PX.