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?”
"Since joining BHBPA we have found it to be a dynamic and vibrant members’ organisation, with excellent, regular and informative meetings.
Peter Liddell does a first class job in ensuring that members’ interests are aired and addressed.
"The BHBPA is an energetic and vocal organisation that connects and empowers and informs the local business community acting as an effective conduit to local authority and other organisations. We are proud to be part of that community and the association."
"This association was started with a lot of effort from a few local businessmen and has proved to be a very powerful and useful tool for our business. The BHBPA has influence at the top level; when action is needed, the BHBPA gets it done. We are kept in touch with all that is happening on our doorstep and will often act because of what is published in the weekly emails / newsletters."
"I am delighted to have a long-standing relationship with the BHBPA. Since its foundation the Association has gone from strength to strength and there is no doubt that it has brought huge benefits to its members and the business community as a whole through the partnerships it has formed with the local authorities, Sussex Police and local organisations. It is paramount that Burgess Hill businesses have an effective collective voice."