OCS Launches Sunflower Lanyard Scheme in partnership with Gatwick Airport

Now Globally Recognised: Sunflower Lanyard Scheme

The Sunflower Lanyard Scheme, initially launched at Gatwick Airport by OCS Group to assist passengers with hidden disabilities, has been successfully adopted in airports globally. This innovative initiative, which began as a trial over the summer, has significantly enhanced the travel experience for thousands of passengers and their families worldwide with hidden disabilities such as dementia, autism, or hearing loss.

Discreet recognition

Introducing these distinctive lanyards lets travellers discreetly inform airport teams of their need for tailored assistance. The lanyard ensures they receive the proper support throughout their journey, such as extra time for processing information or preparing belongings before security screening. Gatwick’s assistance teams and those at other airports globally have undergone specialised training to recognise and appropriately respond to these lanyards.

This scheme is part of a broader initiative by OCS Group, which provides assistance services at multiple airports, including Gatwick and multiple airports UK & Ireland and Global airports. The initiative was informed by the “Challenging for Change” report, which captured the experiences of passengers with disabilities and suggested improvements. Follow-up workshops facilitated dialogue and idea exchange among airlines, airport operators, baggage handlers, disability groups, and support service providers.

Charity Partnership & Collaboration

Key UK charities like the Alzheimer’s Society, The National Autistic Society, and Action on Hearing Loss have collaborated with Gatwick Airport and OCS Group in this endeavour. At launch, Nikki Barton, Head of Terminals and Passenger Assistance at Gatwick, highlighted the scheme’s role in reducing travel stress for passengers with hidden disabilities and the importance of training for frontline teams in enhancing passenger experiences.

OCS Group has 60 years of expertise in the aviation sector and their commitment to excellence for passengers needing additional assistance. The lanyard scheme, born from extensive consultations with disability groups, aims to minimise misinterpretations of the specific needs associated with hidden disabilities.

Specialist Colleague Training

OCS has provided persons with reduced mobility (PRM) services at Gatwick since November 2010. The lanyard scheme’s rollout was supported by comprehensive training, with NVQ Level 2 training in dementia care now standard for OCS teams in the departure lounges. Numerous Dementia Friends Champions have been trained across the airports to further the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme.

Sue Rennie, Alzheimer’s Society Services Manager for West Sussex North, said, “People with dementia and their family carers often find travelling daunting when faced with unfamiliar and busy airports. The lanyard scheme for passengers with hidden disabilities introduced at Gatwick offers reassurance to those who use it. It also helps airport teams know that they may require additional support, which can improve the passengers’ travel experience at the airport.”

 

Merger completes between Atalian Servest’s and OCS’s UK, Ireland and Asia operations.

Atalian UK, Ireland and Asia operations to merge with OCS Group to create new, leading international FM provider

Following the recent acquisition of OCS Group by Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Atalian confirms the sale of its operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Asia to the private investment firm

In a move that will create one of the world’s largest international facilities service providers, Atalian Global Services has confirmed the sale of its UK, Ireland and Asia operations, along with its specialist automotive division Aktrion, to Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), the private investment firm that recently acquired OCS Group, with the intention that the businesses be merged over the next twelve months, opening a new chapter for the two firms.

Atalian’s Group CEO Rob Legge will become Group CEO of the newly merged businesses.

Further communication on this exciting news, including the company’s ambition and vision will be shared in the coming weeks ahead.

 

 

Sean Fisher’s OCS Journey to Cleaning CEO

Summary

  • Sean joined Servest UK in 2003, and his first role saw him become a regular at Sheffield’s famous Gatecrasher nightclub
  • Treating the business as your own is an important mindset for success, Sean believes
  • Success for Sean is OCS becoming synonymous with being the best
OCS’s newly appointed CEO of Cleaning, Sean Fisher, has a long association with both the legacy OCS business and cleaning as a profession.

It was back in 2003 that Sean, who originally hails from South Africa, began working for what was then Servest UK as a site supervisor, after studying IT in his homeland.

Over the two decades that followed, Sean led retail and cleaning divisions, and served as Chief Operating Officer at Atalian Servest, before being appointed to head up the new OCS cleaning division.

“To take on that first role with Servest, I needed to move to Sheffield – so I moved in with our cleaners,” says Sean.

“I moved into the house they were sharing, and they taught me how to clean. I started with Gatecrasher nightclub and Bed nightclub, before moving into an area management role, and then moving to the head office in Bury St Edmunds.”

The attributes for success

Since then, Sean’s played a key role in a business that’s experienced sizeable organic growth, but those early experiences cemented in his mind the attributes that are needed to succeed.

“People need to be passionate about what they do, believe in what they do, and treat the business as if it was their own.”

Sean Fisher

CEO of Cleaning

“You’ve got to have the energy and the edge – the pace at which we operate is relentless, but at the same time, it’s good fun.”

The new OCS TRUE values – Trust, Respect, Unity and Empowerment – sit well with Sean, who believes when you find the right people, it makes everything else significantly easier.

“That’s everything we stand for, as a business, as a cleaning business, and myself as an individual,” he says.

“When you get the right people, who are true to those values, you have a successful business – and I think those values suit us perfectly.”

Putting values into practice

In practice, for Sean, those values look fairly simple – but the impact they can have is seismic.

“You’ve got to be professional, polite and well-mannered – that’s a given,” he says.

“At the start of every shift, you’ve got to be on site before the shift starts. I expect all of my operators to be visible on site, engaging with customers, and making sure they’re getting the best out of their team in terms of productivity and standards.”

And that engagement with customers – which builds unity and trust, as well as demonstrating respect – is essential to building partnerships that truly help people and places be their best.

“It’s important to build those relationships because, together, we’ll achieve significantly better outcomes,” says Sean.

“We do a lot of relationship mapping, from site level all the way to procurement and CEOs, and if you get that right, you can have the right conversations with the right people – you’re not forcing a relationship, but building something that will be beneficial for both parties in the longer term.”

Building solid foundations for OCS

A successful relationship can deliver a number of strong outcomes,  made possible by the successful day-to-day delivery of services. Those longer-term outcomes are something Sean is focused on in his new role as CEO of Cleaning.

First, however, comes a period of building the foundations that will serve the new OCS business well over the decades to come.

“My main objective this year is to get things like budgets, succession plans and performance management right, ensuring we have the right people in the right roles, and are giving the right opportunities to those people, too,” he says.

“That will create an incredibly solid foundation from which we can build upon and deliver on our overall business mission.”

That mission is, of course, to be the best facilities management business in the world, making people and places the best they can be – and it’s a mission that enthuses Sean as looks ahead to the coming months and years.

He says, “OCS needs to stand for quality, and I want to help OCS become synonymous with being the best.”