These eight finalists have gone to extraordinary lengths to engage with the communities they serve, raising the bar for the industry in the process.
CN Awards 2018 Community Engagement BCM Construction
BCM Construction – BCM Cable Drum Tables for Primary Schools
Working for Network Rail in Wiltshire, BCM saw an opportunity to recycle cable drums on the project that would have otherwise been thrown away. A single cable drum was made into a picnic table and the tops of two benches, with the bench legs comprising old railway sleepers left over from earlier works.
BCM contacted several schools across the county that were within 5 miles of the rail line, with four responding and eventually receiving a total of 10 tables between them. As well as making and installing the tables, the company visited the schools to talk to pupils about the process, as well as health and safety on the railway.
CN Awards 2018 Community Engagement ENGIE
Engie – Love and Tolerance
Engie’s Love and Tolerance initiative began on its Marsh Farm Regeneration scheme in Luton, where its resident steering group cited the challenge of integrating different cultures on a housing estate in what is an exceptionally diverse town.
The company collaborated with a local artist and schoolchildren to create a mural based on messages of unity and acceptance. The success of the concept has seen Engie expand the idea and introduce it to four more communities. Its investment team presents each project at school assemblies, with the artwork of more than 1,000 children being used to date.
CN Awards 2018 Community Engagement Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck
Farrans Construction and Victor Buyck – Northern Spire Bridge
FVB assembled a community engagement working group on this project that featured representatives from Sunderland City Council, Job Centre Plus, local schools, colleges and community groups. This helped focus and maximise the company’s activities and outreach efforts.
In addition, the team created a classroom and viewing platform on site that was visited by 2,000 local pupils. Careers in Construction talks were given to more than 1,500 students, with employability skills training put on for a further 91, and a total of five apprentices and nine graduates built up experience on the scheme.
CN Awards 2018 Community Engagement Graham
Graham – Dalbeattie Learning Campus
The Dalbeattie project saw Graham replace the area’s nursery, primary and secondary facilities with one single campus, requiring significant buy-in from the community. Following a comprehensive consultation programme, the proposals secured planning permission with zero objections – said to be a first for the local council.
The contractor put on 11 stakeholder consultation workshops, with one attended by more than 300 people. Graham used a variety of techniques, including setting down a map of the town on the floor for parents to work out routes to the new campus, as well as model blocks of the school to inform its design.
CN Awards 2018 Community Engagement Jackson Civil Engineering
Jackson Civil Engineering – Build Your Future: Jackson’s Employment & Skills Initiative
During work on flood defence projects in Birmingham and Leicester, Jackson Civil Engineering teamed up with Birmingham City Council and the Environment Agency on an initiative to educate young people about the industry.
The team brought in youngsters aged 17 to 24 who were looking for work and had expressed an interest in construction. Jackson devised several hands-on workshops covering welding, setting out, bricklaying and road construction. Feedback was extremely positive, with more than 80 per cent of attendees saying they wanted to pursue a career in construction.
CN Awards 2018 Community Engagement Kier Garnock Community Campus
Kier – Garnock Community Campus
Kier put together a community benefit strategy in collaboration with locals and the client to work out how this communal facility could provide extra opportunities. The contractor teamed up with the armed forces and local colleges on their Armed Forces Employability Pathway initiative, aiming to provide 18-24-year-olds with work placements; this programme secured full-time positions for eight people with Kier and supply chain partners.
The company also supported The Salvation Army during the project with food donations, and donated pallets and timber to animal welfare charity Hillhead Pets Corner.
CN Awards 2018 Community Engagement Kier Sussex Arms Welfare Centre
Kier – Refurbishment of Sussex Arms Welfare Centre, Baker Barracks
This welfare centre is the largest on Baker Barracks and can host briefings and welfare presentations for the 1,100 soldiers and 247 families who live on the site.
Volunteers from Kier, the client and subcontractors gave 480 hours of their own time to refurbish the centre’s family room, games room and stairway. Kier estimates that the works would have cost £17,000, but were delivered at no cost to the client thanks to the volunteer’s efforts and a £5,000 donation from the Kier Foundation.
To ensure works progressed on time, weekly progress meetings were held with team members and subcontractors.
CN Awards 2018 Community Engagement Wates Group
Wates Group – Kirkstall Forge, Leeds
Wates worked on this seven-storey office block as part of a wider scheme to revamp an old industrial site. The firm earmarked the project for its Building Futures initiative, which has provided skills training to more than 1,200 out-of-work adults over the past decade.
Wates built an onsite training facility for the 10 adult learners on the Kirkstall Forge Building Futures programme. Six of these have since entered full-time employment, while one is in further training.
Its success prompted the client to keep the facility running beyond the project’s completion; a total of 350 students have attended to date.