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Ground Control Road Show 2020

On Wednesday 26 February, we attended one of Ground Control’s events in Elstree as part of its 2020 Roadshow.

Hosted at five sites across the UK, the Ground Control Roadshow 2020 has already visited Bristol, Elstree and Edinburgh. Today, the roadshow visited Runcorn and tomorrow the final event will be held in Peterborough.

Last week Pro Landscaper got to attend the Elstree event, to find out more about Ground Control and its plans for the future.

The event was attended by Ground Control staff and partners, with suppliers given the opportunity to display their products and talk to staff about what they can offer.

Managing director, Marcus Watson, began the day by giving an update on the company, talking through its highs and lows, and finishing with how the team sees the company growing in the next few years. A big focus will be caring for the environment and ways in which Ground Control can do this, with it aiming to be carbon neutral by 2025.

Ground Control will also be investing 5% of its post-tax profits annually into its Evergreen Fund – a fund which makes investments into sustainable projects – as well as allocating £100k for annual tree planting. Marcus also took the opportunity to talk to staff members about what they could be doing at home and at work to help towards this new focus, as well as the UK’s own 2050 carbon neutral target.

Angelina Sooren, Ground Control’s HSQE director addressed attendees about the importance of always being safe on jobs, showing examples of how it can go horribly wrong when you don’t, and pushing the message, “no job is so urgent or important that it cannot be done safely.”

As well as talking to staff about physical health and safety, Angelina also made sure to address their mental wellbeing. She talked them through The Samaritans SHUSH listening tips:

  • S – show you care
  • H – have patience
  • U – use open questions
  • S – say it back
  • H – have courage

These tips help to open up a conversation about how the pressures of work can affect our mental health and why this is normal. This was reinforced by a pack of Penguins given in goody bags with a “take five” note attached, encouraging staff to take five minutes to talk to one another about how they’re feeling.

Staff members were then split into teams – arb rail, construction, maintenance and arb utility, to give those groups specific updates and training relevant to them, with everyone congregating again to hear from Steve Cunningham, the fastest blind man in the world.

Never allowing his disability to define or restrict him, although Steve lost his sight at 12, he has since set a new world blind land speed record, onshore and offshore powerboat records and became the world’s first blind pilot. Steve’s story was certainly inspiring and left attendees with the feeling that anything can be accomplished if they put their minds to it.

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