OCS’s Sustainable Makeover of Lakeview Café in Partnership with RAW

Angel Hill, the catering arm of OCS, is pleased to have assisted Worcestershire County Council in rejuvenating one of its establishments, Lakeview Café, through a sustainable approach to refurbishment. 

With a mission to make people and places the best they can be, we continually seek innovative methods to advance sustainability and social enterprise in all our operations. Upon discovering the commendable work of RAW, we immediately recognised the tremendous value they bring. 

RAW is a compelling initiative that places dedication to sustainability and social value at the core of its operations. As a furniture-making and woodworking organisation, they identified and actively addressed the waste generated by the industry, while simultaneously empowering individuals. To date, they have generated over 50,000 hours of social impact and have collected 715.5 tonnes of reclaimed wood. Three-quarters of RAW’s workforce have come from diverse backgrounds, including individuals with histories of offending behaviour, addiction, or homelessness, demonstrating that excellence knows no bounds. .

In collaboration with RAW, we initiated a plan to refurbish the cafe’s interior using pre-used furniture. Our partnership ensured that the cafe did not compromise on quality or aesthetic branding benefits. All 80 chairs utilised in the refurbishment were from the previous cafe. Approximately half of the tables were recycled, sandblasted, and repainted, leaving no room for wastage. Additionally, the refurbishment featured tables made from recycled plastic, transforming bottles and waste plastic into functional pieces. 

The outcome is a visually appealing environment with a unified design, providing the local community with a space to connect, relax, and savour nourishing food. They can rest assured that their local council, in collaboration with OCS, is consistently working towards environmentally friendly solutions and empowering individuals from diverse backgrounds, thereby avoiding further harm to the environment. 

OCS Named as Supplier for RM6331 Healthcare Soft Facilities Management Services

20th February 2024: Leading facilities management (FM) service provider, OCS, has been named as a supplier on Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) RM6331 Healthcare Soft Facilities Management Services agreement, strengthening its position in the public sector for its FM offering to the healthcare industry.

This supports its ambitious plans announced earlier this month; to become one of the leading forces in the FM market, bolstered by its commitment to deliver integrated, high-quality facility management solutions.

OCS services available through the Healthcare Soft FM Framework include Cleaning, Catering and Bundled Soft FM (e.g. Security Services, Portering and Logistics, Waste Services, Grounds Maintenance, Linen and Laundry, etc.). Whilst OCS already has a large footprint in the healthcare industry, the Framework helps reinforce its position, as the company will be competing for call-off contracts amongst other major FM leaders.

This means public sector buyers looking to enter into a contractual relationship with OCS can trust that they are working with a verified supplier that delivers high-quality, cost-effective service with the additional assurance that they are making actionable improvements in ESG.

Being named on the CCS Framework for RM6331 Healthcare Soft FM Services further establishes our market position in the public sector as a best-in-class facilities management solutions provider.

We look forward to building relationships with the healthcare providers that choose us as their service delivery partner, leveraging our expertise to fulfil their business needs and improve efficiencies across facilities management.

This will be achieved by combining technology, innovation, and collaboration in our approach to FM, whilst applying the most appropriate methodologies and best practices in compliance with standards outlined by NHS England and other professional associations within the industry.

Daniel Dickson

UK and Ireland Chief Executive Officer

Crown Commercial Service supports the public sector to achieve maximum commercial value when procuring common goods and services. In 2022/23, CCS helped the public sector to achieve commercial benefits equal to £3.8 billion – supporting world-class public services that offer best value for taxpayers.

Services included in this story

Fore-ward Thinking: Security Swings into Support NIHE Charity Golf Day!

When asked by our customer, Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE), last summer to take part in an upcoming Charity Golf Day our security team were thrilled to support. OCS provide security services at NIHE sites across Northern Ireland and has become a trusted partner, as such, we knew we wanted to sponsor the event in aid of Age NI.

Every two years, the NIHE’s fundraising committee selects a chosen charity to support through fundraising events within the organisation, and for 2023/24 and 2024/25 their chosen charity is Age NI – a leading charity in Northern Ireland dedicated to improving the quality of life for older citizens, fostering a society where we can all thrive as we age.

In attendance from the OCS team were Vincent Galvin, Key Account Manager and Alan Kelly, Security Operations Manager who managed to dig out the clubs from the back of the shed and dust them off. They certainly looked the part and helped raise much-needed funds for Age NI, but the less said about their performance, the better.

We thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this event and supporting our partner NIHE.  Collectively we managed to raise a total of £8,260 for Age NI through the event.

It is truly gratifying to be able to support our customers in their efforts to boost social and charitable initiatives within their local communities. Events like these are integral to our own commitments to social value and community empowerment

We are delighted to be able to support Age NI and all of the important work that they do across Northern Ireland.

I would like to thank everyone who donated and got involved in our fundraising, and also the fundraising committee and the colleagues who were involved in organising these fundraising activities.

Grainia Long

Chief Executive

Our mission is to make people and places the best they can be. This means supporting our customers by delivering the best services possible but also helping them achieve their wider Environmental, Social and Governance goals.

Age NI is a fantastic charity that is essential for the older community in NI and OCS was privileged to support this event.

Aine Mulcahy

Managing Director OCS Ireland

Promoting Social Mobility at Clarence House with People into Work Scheme

In an esteemed visit to the Clarence House, hosted by Her Majesty Queen Camilla, in celebration of The Poppy Factory’s centenary, OCS was invited to join The Queen in celebrating the brilliant work of the Poppy Factory. Reflecting our collaborative efforts with the charity, we were granted two places—an exceptional gesture, considering most organisations receive only one. Present at the event were Toni-Marie Vaughan, Head of Social Mobility, and Tony Crilly, People Director for the UK & Ireland. 

The Poppy Factory, a prominent employment charity, focuses on reintegrating veterans into the workforce after their military service. The veterans they assist often face formidable challenges within the Armed Forces community, contending with complex mental and physical health conditions compounded by issues such as homelessness and addiction. 

Toni Marie in conversation with HRH Camilla

OCS takes immense pride in its partnership with this significant organisation through the ‘People into Work’ program. Launched in 2019, this initiative has evolved through insights gathered from our operational teams, strategic partners, and candidates, allowing us to maximise our social value impact. 

Since its inception, the People into Work program has facilitated the employment of 176 individuals. By actively hiring people with various barriers to employment, the program empowers them and contributes to our work culture by promoting diverse experiences, fostering inclusivity, and championing diversity. 

Tony Crilly in conversation with HRH Camilla

We are profoundly honoured to have received an invitation to such a pivotal and momentous occasion. Our commitment to supporting The Poppy Factory’s work aligns with our dedication to advancing social mobility in the UK for our former servicemen. 

Kickstarting Electrical and Hard Services Careers With OCS Modern Apprenticeships

Mike Stark, Director of Data and Networks, sat down to discuss the benefits of completing an OCS Hard Service Modern Apprenticeship on the SELECT-Trade Association for Electrical Contracting Industry Scotland Podcast.

Our apprentices expand their knowledge through their learning and are supported to start a rewarding career in a variety of specialisms. The apprenticeships encompass a wide range of skill development such as: Electrical, Heating and Ventilation, Data Cabling, Service and Maintenance, and Plumbing, gaining hands on skills in and outside the classroom.

It’s the career, it’s the opportunities it can give you in life. After going through the last 4 years, I can honestly say I enjoy it.


Hard Service Apprentice

In the podcast, Josh share his journeys of completing the four year Electrical Apprenticeship course and explains how he has overcome challenges and ended up enjoying the career path he is on. Mike emphasised our commitment to supporting and nurturing the apprentices careers and how important it is to not discount yourself from a successful career in Hard Services.

Our industry needs electricians. We’re here to support. We want them to be successful. It’s about encouraging them and ensuring they learn.

Mike Stark

Director of Data and Networks

Find out more or apply

Apprentice of The Year Awards: Celebrating Excellence and Success

OCS is pleased to announce the conclusion of its third annual Apprentice of The Year award ceremony, held on Wednesday, February 7th, in alignment with the UK’s National Apprenticeship Week. 

The purpose of our annual Apprentice of The Year award is to recognise and commend the dedication of our colleagues and their teams who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to our TRUE Values by actively engaging in upskilling and personal development. It is our privilege to offer the necessary resources and support to enable our colleagues to take significant strides in advancing their careers. Our dedicated Social Mobility team, specialising in tailored pathways for the facilities management industry, collaborates with esteemed partners and industry leaders, ensuring our apprentices receive the best experience. 

Our apprenticeship recognition and awards program features twelve monthly finalists, who have shown exemplary initiative within their programme gaining recognition from their line manager or skills coach as part of the nomination process. The selection process is based on nominees meeting either one or all of the PIBS criteria, namely;  

  • Personal achievement and progression
  • Impact of learning/Return on Investment (ROI) 
  • Behavioural change 
  • Self-management 

This culminates in the selection of an overall annual winner and a runner-up at the Apprentice of The Year ceremony. This year, Khalid Mahmood, an OCS Security Officer at HMCTS, secured the top position, earning a Distinction in his Level 3 training. Michelle Rowe, OCS Production Chef at Desborough College, displayed remarkable achievement as the deserving runner-up, successfully completing her level 2 qualification. 

We also extend our appreciation to our training service partners who have consistently gone beyond to provide our colleagues with exceptional support. In recognition of their outstanding contributions, we are pleased to announce that Mercury Training Services Ltd and GLP Training Ltd have been honoured as our Outstanding Training Providers of the Year. 

We take immense pride in the accomplishments of our apprentices, who consistently navigate the challenges of simultaneous learning and professional responsibilities. Their dedication is commendable, and we remain committed to fostering an environment that encourages continuous growth and development within our workforce. 

National Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity for the education and skills sector to celebrate the achievements of apprentices around the country and the positive impact they make on communities, businesses, and the wider economy.

I am OCS’s Skills Development Manager here at the Department for Education, and it is great to see that positive impact being made through OCS’s apprenticeship programme. Since the pandemic, our focus on employer engagement has shifted slightly, with a greater emphasis on the quality of apprenticeships being delivered, rather than just encouraging more starts, and it is clear OCS’s approach is equally aligned with this.

Bertie Hutchins

Skills Development Manager (South), Department of Education

Dedicating myself to supporting the development of others is a priority for me. Individuals who choose to participate in our programs are expressing a commitment to self-improvement despite their demanding professional obligations. As a company, it is crucial for us to acknowledge and appreciate the effort and sacrifice made by those who embark on this journey of personal development. We take pride in recognising and valuing their commitment.

Tim Bowers

Apprenticeships & Funded Learning Capability Manager