Amey volunteer with DIO, RDM and Tivoli to improve facilities at RAF Benson

09 October 2018
Image of Amey Employees carrying out improvements at RAF Benson.

A team on Amey’s Regional Prime South East contract recently worked with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and supply chain partners RDM and Tivoli on a community project at RAF Benson to help improve facilities for those who live and work on the site.

The Junior Ranks Mess (JRM) at RAF Benson had been closed earlier in the year due to project work we were carrying out and as part of the completion work, the site wanted to improve the facilities and planned a grand re-opening of the much-valued facility.

Sgt Andy Hollingsworth used funds from the JRM to build an outdoor garden area and asked our team for help with the front of the building, which had planter walls and gravel areas that were looking old and tired.

The team were led by Rachel Littlewood, Estate Facilities Manager for the DIO, who was keen for everyone to don their wellies and work together on the garden makeover. They worked closely with Tivoli to plan what worked best with the space we had in terms of cutting, clearing, removing plants and what should be planted. Tivoli also helped prepare and spray the gravel area before work could begin, and RDM helped the repair the walls, which had been damaged by plant roots and weather, with new render for the team to paint.

On the day, with materials provided by RDM and Tivoli, a group of eager volunteers put their wellies on and set about clearing and cutting back plants, painting walls, building and painting garden furniture and laying new gravel.

The teams were also pleased to have visits and the support of Wing Commander Toria McPhaden, Squadron Leader Angela Glasby and the Station Commander Hamish Cormack. Rachel Littlewood received great feedback and thanked everyone for their hard work.

Rachel Littlewood said: “Just a quick note to say a huge thanks to everyone for such a great day today. A special thanks to Amey, RDM and Tivoli for your generous contributions to the project, and to Catering Flight for the delicious BBQ. The front of the Mess is looking fab, I’m hopeful that the effort put in will go some way to making the Junior Ranks feel more loved - roll on next Wednesday when they can eat in their Mess again! Hope you all had a great time (I certainly did), and thank you all for coming along.”

Wing Commander Toria McPhaden, Officer Commanding Base Support Wing, at RAF Benson said:“I was thrilled when DIO and Amey suggested helping us with rejuvenating the garden at our Junior Ranks Mess. The volunteers’ time and materials contributed meant that my team’s vision could be made a reality. This project has really been a combination of hard work from Station personnel, DIO and Amey and reflects the really close working relationship we have here at Benson. The garden is already really making a difference to our Junior Ranks as it is now such a lovely space to be.”

Gerwyn Jones, Amey’s Area Manager for the South East-West, said: “A big thanks to Lee Waterhouse, Simon Hicks, Lisa Griffiths, Stuart Woodage, Rachel Littlewood (DIO), Peter Fedden (DIO Area Manager) and Nick Hoskins (DIO SEFM) who all helped and contributed. Thanks to RDM for the support on materials and preparation work. A special thanks to Martin Webb (Tivoli), who offered materials, plants, manpower and constant advice on the day and in the planning of the work. Overall, I am really pleased with how all parties were able to pull this together, show we are invested in the site and that we can help make a positive impact on this initiative for those who use the Junior Ranks Mess. Proud to be part of ‘Team Benson’.”