Posted on 14th May 2018
40 years of polished performance for Sussex Cleaning & Care
When Margaret and John Pitcher set up their office and window cleaning company in Sussex in 1978, desktop ashtrays needed emptying, dust gathered in typewriter keys and the now ubiquitous office water cooler had yet to be introduced.
Much has changed in the 40 years since but Sussex Cleaning & Care (SCC) has been consistent in delivering a polished performance across the county.
Its roster of clients now includes schools, medical centres and sporting venues, with high-profile contracts such as match day cleaning for BHAFC’s Amex Stadium.
From one man with a van, SCC’s services now extend well beyond a dust and polish to comprehensive cleaning, washroom hygiene, grounds maintenance and pest control. It employs more than 200 uniformed cleaners across Brighton, Crawley, Mid Sussex, Chichester, Eastbourne, Horsham and Worthing, and has an annual salary budget of more than £1.3 million – the majority of which is paid out fortnightly.
“It’s remarkable to think our cleaners have been servicing our clients every day for the past four decades. That’s almost 15,000 work days. Their continued efforts are inspiring and there’s no denying they are the beating heart of our business,” says Nick Pitcher, the company’s Operations Director and son of the founders.
“When SCC started, cleaners were on average earning less than £2 an hour, office furniture was mostly wooden and had to be polished daily, ashtrays needed to be emptied because smoking at work was still common place, and vacuum cleaners were made of metal and weighed a ton when full! I wouldn’t say the job has become easier, though. There are constant challenges.”
Not least was SCC’s decision to upgrade its practices to meet International Standards of quality management and environmental auditing under ISO 9001/14001 in 2007 and SafeContractor in 2010.
An ambitious environment recycling scheme, spearheaded by SCC’s employees, won the team an ‘Eco Warrior’ award at the inaugural BHBiz Awards last year in Burgess Hill.
“It’s amazing to think how long we’ve been around and yet we can still find ways to improve our efficiency and save clients’ money,” says Robert Morris, Commercial Director. “I can’t wait to see where the future takes us. Robot cleaners, perhaps… who knows?”
"As MP for Mid Sussex I believe passionately in the importance of a vibrant local business community in order to create and sustain fantastic opportunities that enable people to meet their responsibilities, prosper and fulfil their potential. I am committed to collaborating with BHBPA and others to be an effective collective voice for Burgess Hill."
"The BHBPA is the most effective and dynamic business organisation I have ever worked with in over 30 years in Local Government. It has a very active and large membership whose points of view are taken seriously by all government structures. Peter Liddell does an excellent job in providing unique and enjoyable networking opportunities where members interact and discuss points of mutual interest. It provides a forum for businesses to discuss common issues, to share experiences and to play a powerful and meaningful role in the Burgess Hill community. The BHBPA provides important and credible support for all its members and ensures that their best interests are represented where necessary. "
"Regular, well organised events, excellent updates and information by email along with a warm welcome from the Chair and Coordinator are just some of the positives at BHBPA."
"“I have belonged to this group since I started my own business, Lea Graham Associates, in 1986. The association has been through several incarnations since then, but its most recent one, BHBPA, is by far the best.
It’s much more than just a networking group, although it is supremely good at that too. BHBPA is inclusive and friendly and acts like a mutual-support society. The events are stimulating, worthwhile and often great fun and I believe most members share this opinion.”"