Restoring and beautifying London's most prestigious homes with love for almost 100 years.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Our Christmas Party

On 12 December we got together at The Dog & Truck pub in E1 to celebrate the festive season together.

We had opted for a 'London Legends' theme to tie in with our love for London, and asked everyone to take inspiration from our city and dress to impress.

From Amanda the suffragette to Steph the pearly queen via Dave's Smithfield porter and Andy's Charlie Chaplin, the rich history of our city was well represented.

Tube stations got in on the action too,with Emma as our own Christmas Angel (Islington) and Andy, Nim, Frank, Archie, Marek, Dan and Liam as the Seven Sisters! 

Simply an incredible choice of outfits and yes, they all walked to the pub dressed like nuns...

Even the darker side of London was represented with Steve as Jack the Ripper, Lawrence as V and Harvey and Niki as Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett. Thankfully everyone's favourite bear Paddington (Corina) was on hand to lighten the mood again!

With darts and pool tournaments ably run by Dan with Liam's assistance, exceptional food and drink and a brilliant Chas & Dave tribute band we partied hard and did our town proud! 

Congrats to darts champ Paul Walsh and pool champ Frank Bastow, as well as the winner of the costume competition, Steph Brown.

It was fantastic to welcome so many of our Family to the party and extend the invite to our own families too.

Thank you to all who came along, and a special thank you to Jackie, David and the team at the pub for such a perfectly hosted and enjoyable night.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Three up!

We are so proud to share the news that we have made it into The Building Good Employer Guide for the third consecutive year!

Of thousands of construction companies who were assessed and reviewed by their own teams, we have made the Top 50 scoring organisations once again.

The awards look at safety, workplace wellbeing, pay and benefits, personal and professional development, training, investment in people and people policies and practice. Only companies that score well in all categories make the final list. 

The award reflects our approach and commitment to our people, and our ethos of Family. 

Thank you to all our people who took the time to complete the survey and speak to Building Magazine; it's great to get accolades but they mean so much more when they come as a result of honesty and pride in our Family.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Feet of fire...

In 2012 we took on the Night Hike...

In 2015 it was all about Maggie's Culture Crawl- 15 miles through London at night to raise money for Maggie's Cancer Care Centres. 

Our team of twelve began at Paternoster Square, in the shadow of the beautiful St Paul's Cathedral- an iconic symbol of our city and a fitting place to start our challenge.

Ready for the off, we got ourselves (non-permanent!) tattoos and our gloriously orange Maggie's T shirts, which were our key to the adventures awaiting us...

Heading to Maggie's Centre at Charing Cross Hospital in West London, we were able to take rest stops at The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (where we had to snap a selfie), the tranquil Chelsea Physic Garden, Foster & Partners architectural studio and then Brompton Cemetery after dark. 

The volunteers and staff from Maggie's and the sponsors such as Foster & Partners made sure we were all well looked after and cheered on as we passed key points on our journey. 

It was not easy, the blisters were hard earned, and we definitely worked for every penny you kind souls donated.

But we enjoyed it, knowing every step was making a difference for us and for Maggie's.

We all had our own reasons for walking, and it was encouraging and emotional to see the names of those we were keeping in our thoughts on our shirts. 

As we progressed we were able to capture a few images that summed up the night, our experience and our gorgeous city. 

The view was pretty amazing at times... the city's changing skyline made a dramatic backdrop.

 There were moments of beauty and tranquility as well as reminders of the rich architectural diversity and history of London.

Even the oddities... ever spotted this on Albert Bridge? We made sure to break step!

The walk to Maggie's led to a well deserved rest and revitalising cup of tea, before we set out to return via the V&A museum (and the greatest first aid station I've ever seen) where we rested under the stunning Dale Chihuly glass chandelier that graces the main entrance.

Then it was onwards to the Serpentine Pavilion in Hyde Park, and then to the Royal Academy where we were privileged to see the new sculpture by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei before it was opened to the public at the weekend. 

After this it was on to the finish line at Covent Garden marketplace- waiting for us was a sense of accomplishment, a medal, plus celebratory prosecco and a bacon sandwich!

Cheers Culture Crawlers!

We have to say a big THANK YOU to our
 sponsors and supporters, to the staff and volunteers from Maggie's and to our amazing Uber taxi driver Bahar, who heard us talking through our experience as he drove us safely home and pledged to donate to our efforts! 

Our JustGiving page will be open until 10th October- if you haven't pledged yet, we'd very much appreciate your support.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

They did it!

305 miles, 26 hours, £4690 raised...

Impressive statistics from Nimesh Bharadia and Frank Bastow, who completed the Ride 24 Newcastle to London challenge on 22-23 August. They rode to raise money for The June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund, who support sufferers of a terrible disease that has claimed so many lives in the construction industry. The aim was to raise £2000, which pays for a year's social events that mean mesothelioma sufferers can meet others, relax away from the clinical environment and access advice and support. 

The route heads out over the Tyne, past the Angel of the North and on to the Yorkshire Hills to warm up the legs. Through York and down to cross the Humber then on to historic Lincoln and the welcome flat lands beyond. As night time arrives, riders pass remote villages and speed through the quiet English countryside. As the sun rises, the Capital's skyline is in sight - and as the finish line approaches the clock seems to stand still - is it less than 24 hours?
The route is broken down into 7 stages of approximately 35-50 miles, with rest stops at the end of each leg to take on food and drink, and to sort any repairs to bike and body!  
It was all smiles at the start despite some ominous clouds- but at least there was a lucky 13 ride vest for Frank, with Nim taking vest 22 as they posed for a start line selfie. 

As they set off at 11am, the wind did its best to slow them down but they were unfazed, clocking up an impressive ride as far as York and beating some of the more professional and serious riders to the rest point. 

Setting off again, they were separated by time a little as conditions became a little more challenging, but both were on track to complete the ride in 24 hours.

As the afternoon turned to evening, the weather punished our heroes. Rain, hailstones and high winds impacted on their progress and rest points became more about changing and drying off than real rest. 

Nim described riding through remote areas in the dead of night lit only by the lights from the riders in his group as beautiful and said it really brought the group together to look out for each other. Frank was busy making friends in his group too, and capturing more selfies.

As dawn broke the weather improved slightly, though it was clear that finishing within 24 hours was going to be a big ask. Undaunted, they pushed on, determined to finish.

Catching up at the last rest point, Nim and Frank decided to enjoy the last leg of the ride and cross the finishing line together- or as close as they could manage.

Frank finished in 26 hours, 26 minutes- Nim was just behind, arriving fashionably late(r) at 26 hours, 56 minutes.

Surprisingly, both could walk just fine the next day, if a little more carefully than normal.

Their fundraising total stands at £4690- over double the original target. 

One day's hard work by two guys funds two years of support for mesothelioma sufferers. Their achievement will allow people with the disease to connect with others outside hospital, and be more than a patient.

Thank you to all who have supported them so far- and until 13 September, you still can!

305 miles covered- on average that's a little over £15 raised per mile.

Amazing work. 

I'll leave you with the finish line photos and stats - they say more than words can!

Friday, 19 June 2015

The Power in Pennies

We recently ran a copper coin collection at our London and Surrey offices, as well as on sites and in our homes. We wanted to raise £200 for Shelter, who do such great work supporting people with housing problems. We work on such beautiful homes, we feel that it's only fair everyone has a safe and happy place to call home. 

I am delighted that we raised £212.47 in total- that's a lot of penny and two pence coins.

Thank you to all who took part. Your efforts mean that six families will get the help they need to find and keep a decent home.

We have started on Take 2 of this as so many people wanted to keep the idea going. We have chosen SANDS (The Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity) as the charity we will support between now and October 31st. 

We have been lucky to welcome four happy, healthy babies into our Family in the past year. Sadly, not every parent knows this joy- SANDS helps them at a time of unimaginable sadness and supports them in the long term to help them connect with others in their situation and try to understand their loss. They are a fantastic organisation and we know we will have a lot of support to help us meet our target of £200. 

You can join in here. Just collect the coins, bank them and donate on our page- couldn't be easier!