A cleaning and facilities management group is investing in specialist equipment and chemicals to help protect essential services and businesses in the fight against Covid-19.
Fox Group has adapted vans normally used for more routine cleaning tasks to transport and dispense sodium hypochlorite to the external areas of prominent sites in and around Hull.
The company is also collaborating with a partner which specialises in cleaning internal areas by applying an anti-viral mist also in use on London’s tube network.
Andrew Fox, Managing Director of Fox Group, said he is already in discussions with businesses and local authorities about rolling out the new services to areas including medical centres, schools and offices.
He said: “We are looking forward to going back to our normal day-to-day work but we don’t know when we will be able to do that so in the meantime we want to do something that will benefit areas which need these specialist sanitation services – hospitals, parks, town and city centres, businesses and other organisations.
“We are in touch with many of them to find out what sort of help they need now and what they will need in readiness for reopening when the time comes. We have a national support network and we have the materials, equipment and manpower to provide the services.”
Andrew’s career in the industry began with doing window cleaning rounds when he was 15. Under the umbrella of Hessle-based Fox Group his interests still include contract window cleaning and have expanded into facilities management, maintenance and decorating. He is also a director of Cleansure, a commercial cleaning company which also comprises a software business.
The group employs around 120 people with key clients working in food production and processing and major food distribution and retail. The group also cleans sport and business venues, apartments, office blocks and restaurants, working directly for clients and through property agents.
Covid-19 has affect the window cleaning work because of building closures and the maintenance side because of difficulties in sourcing essential parts, prompting Fox Group to explore additional services.
Andrew said: “The suspension of some of the window cleaning work added to the problems sourcing parts for the maintenance team have had a slight impact on the business but we are only in the in the early stages of this and it’s clear the longer term impact could be more severe.
“We had been doing extremely well with business volumes doubling year on year over the last three years as a result of introducing new services and building strong relationships with our customers.
“Since I was 15 I have built up the business by being prepared to take calculated risks. Investing in this is another gamble but we can deliver these services immediately and the aim with businesses which have shut is that when they are able to open their doors again they can hit the ground running and not face extended closures just because their premises haven’t been cleaned properly.
“With the experience of our staff and the effectiveness of this service we have the ability to spray and treat hundreds of square metres per hour and we will be offering significantly reduced rates for sites such as children’s nurseries, schools, residential homes and healthcare premises.”
[Phil Ascough – Ascough Associates]