In The Spotlight: Our Grounds Maintenance Team!
Sovini Property Services' Grounds Maintenance team are responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the communal gardens and open spaces for our clients. Providing an exceptional service to customers, and ensuring a safe and pleasant environment for families to enjoy. Not only this, but our Ground Maintenance team does so much more, going above and beyond to help our local communities flourish. Just some of these community campaigns involved recently partnering with Merseyside Police, and partners of The Sovini Group, One Vision Housing, to clean up the streets of Liverpool and surrounding areas for Anti-Social Behaviour Week. As well as lending a hand at Lawler Street community garden by tidying and planting a tree for the Queens Jubilee. We recently met with the Grounds Maintenance team leaders to find out what a day in the life was like for their busy team.
How does a typical day in the Ground Maintenance team begin?
“A normal day for us begins with a team meeting at Group partners Sovini Waste‘s headquarters in Bootle, giving us a good chance to catch up and discuss any issues we may have encountered through the previous day. Our usual routine starts with litter picking the area, and then some daily checks on our machines. Once that is done, we put on our PPE and begin the job. Once we have tackled a large enough area we usually regroup, one will grab a strimmer and one will grab the knapsack and/or the blower. It may seem very monotonous, but every site and area require a completely different approach. After doing this round now for 5 seasons, we are very knowledgeable of what needs doing.” – Kane Hughes, Team Leader.
“My job role is team leader, which means i am responsible for the maintenance of our specialist equipment. If there are any issues on the round, a plan is made with the team to create a solution. Keeping moral up is very important, as a happy team is a productive one. We have a set round which means we build brilliant relationships with our customers, and more importantly they know us.” – Andrew Green, Team Leader
“Every day we attend properties and cut grass, maintain hedges, remove weeds and litter. We also deal with general public enquires too. I really enjoy my role; you get job satisfaction when you go to a site once you finish you can see the hard work you have put into it.” – Michael Hoult, GM Operative (Acting Team Leader)
What skills and qualifications do you hold?
It’s not just cutting grass or putting plants in any old place, you need to know what will work and what doesn’t. I completed a six year apprenticeship, in which I worked in all aspects of amity horticulture, from ground keeping, to woodland management, general grounds maintenance, to botanical collection and bedding plant production.” – Andrew Green, Team Leader
“The skill I value most about my team would have to be the ability to work well together. The team also have a wealth of experience and knowledge, including industry recognised qualifications preparing them for their daily duties. This includes lawn maintenance, pruning various types of plants and shrubs, and also applying herbicide, to name a few.” – Anthony Payne, Estates Team Project Manager
“We hold Chainsaw, Chipper, Stump grinder, PA1&PA6 qualifications, and we are also BAGMA certified on all petrol driven tools. We maintain good knowledge of maintaining the tools we use which helps massively. The main two skills I’d say the whole team have is resilience and character. When we have to come into work on a typical British day with rain hammering down, knowing we are going to be outside all day, it takes a lot of resilience. We also deal with some challenging projects from time to time, so being able to fix any problem is certainly a skill.” – Kane Hughes, Team Leader
What advice would you give to customers on how to look after their gardens in the hot months?
“The first thing to do in your garden is to enjoy it, take your time and you will reap the rewards all year round. A flourishing garden is built on planning your year, which is important even if it just a few pots of veg or plants. You will feel the benefits of being outside all year round, enjoy your garden and it will pay you back tenfold.” – Andrew Green, Team Leader
“My advice would vastly differ depending on the situation. It just requires time and consistency. The longer you leave it, the harder it becomes.” – Kane Hughes, Team Leader
“My tips for looking after your garden in the heat are to water your plants every day and give them a bit of feed, and also cut your grass every 10 days.” – Gary Roach, Working Foreman
“Regularly cut your grass, prune shrubs after flowering and water of a night time after the sun goes in.” – Jack Murphy, Team Leader
“During prolonged periods of warm weather like we have experienced recently, make sure you water your lawn and borders early in the morning or later in the evening when the weather is cool to prevent your lawn and plants from drying out. To keep your lawns looking sharp cut your grass every 10-14 days keeping the arisings to a minimum. Keep your weeds at bay by applying a weed suppressant to your borders and bed areas using membrane first if suitable and applying a 50-75mm layer of decorative bark or slate to save you having to hand weed.” – Anthony Payne, Estates Team Project Manager
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