Building a new community facility at the heart of Harlow – Bolt and Heeks Limited

Bolt and Heeks Limited considerately constructed new and upgraded facilities for Harlow Town Park.

The work was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to improve the popular Pets Corner attraction in Harlow Town Park – an important community facility at the heart of the town.

The works included a new events barn, a new learning centre, a sick animals’ isolation centre, the refurbishment of the bandstand, and the partial refurbishment of a café and office.

The main contractor, Bolt and Heeks Limited, was originally formed in 1959 and became incorporated in 1964, accumulating over 50 years experience in working across the private and public sectors. They specialise in areas including heritage and restoring listed buildings, education at all levels, and construction work for the emergency services such as the police, fire, health and ambulance services. The company also undertakes community projects, including facilities such as libraries, museums, leisure centres and parks, private residential works, and commercial works.

Outlining the challenges encountered during the Pets Corner project, Bolt and Heeks’ Business Development Manager, Paula Garsden said:

“Whilst the park is an important and popular community facility, Pets Corner is especially popular, and children were a little disappointed that year not to have full access. The client moved the larger animals, such as donkeys, alpacas and llamas into paddocks within the main park during daylight hours, but the smaller animals had to remain in pens and cages within Pets Corner. We were providing screens and monitoring noise and pollution from the plant and equipment to avoid distressing the animals, while maintaining a presence to assist when and where required.”

“Our site manager and assistant site manager have always been happy to meet and explain the works to the public face-to-face, as well as our timetable for completion. We have had regular newsletters giving progress reports prominently displayed on the gates and hoarding, and also took part in National Play Day in the park in June, bringing Ivor Goodsite along to both entertain the children and help answer any questions about the project.”

Here are some examples of best practice initiatives carried out by Bolt and Heeks Limited:

  • At induction, operatives were requested to be cleanly dressed when leaving the site. Signs were displayed to remind them.
  • At induction and toolbox talks, operatives were informed to keep facilities clean and there were signs displayed to reinforce this message.
  • A designated/discreet area for smoking was provided within the compound.
  • Corporate values were included in induction and support for the CCS was included in the company values.
  • The site introduced a recognition and reward scheme for good housekeeping by operatives.
  • The site used a standpipe for washing down if required and this was used by the Park Ranger for watering the trees and shrubs in the vicinity.
  • Initial letters were sent to all nearby neighbours and the council, and the site informed Pets Corner of any noisy or disruptive works.
  • The Traffic Management plan was displayed and there was parking provided for all.
  • Operatives were encouraged to car or van share and use public transport or cycle to work.
  • The site used local shops, labour, trade contractors and suppliers where possible.
  • Induction covered park users, special needs children, visitors, parking, complaints and customer care.
  • Noisy works were carried out during times agreed with Pets Corner.
  • Radios were not allowed on the sites and mobile phones could only be used in a safe environment or in the designated area.
  • Work on-site was stopped when the animal handlers took the animals out into the paddocks and returned them to Pets Corner.
  • Feedback questionnaires were issued to neighbours and also to Pets Corner for issuing to the general public for their comments and feedback on the works.
  • The corporate social responsibility policy was displayed and a corporate social responsibility newsletter issued.
  • The site had a stall in Harlow Town Park for National Playday where they joined in the fun by providing face painting and children’s colouring-in posters. The day also included a special visit from Ivor Goodsite.
  • In addition, the site provided a new kitchen for Pets Corner as a goodwill gesture. 
  • The site environmental plan was covered during induction and the performance was monitored.
  • A SWMP was in place – segregation took place at the waste company’s yard and they provided monthly reports that were monitored against head office targets.
  • Diesel was stored in a bunded bowser, which was located in a safe refuelling area, with a spill kit close by.
  • The site manager was trained in and implemented the company’s environmental policy.
  • Spills and accidents were recorded in accordance with company procedures.
  • Achievements and good environmental issues were included in toolbox talks and newsletters which were displayed on site and to the public.
  • Surplus materials were donated to Pets Corner and there was a proactive policy on design and materials selected.
  • The site’s carbon footprint was targeted and monitored by head office and performance was displayed.
  • The company had green purchasing and embodied energy policies.
  • Hand-held vibration monitoring was carried out.
  • Canteen and office waste was recycled and placed in council bins.
  • Tree root span protection was agreed with an arborist consultant and the site re-routed a new electric cable to avoid damaging tree roots.
  • The site offered to plant trees in the park free of charge. 
  • Visitors were escorted around site and PPE was available. There was a single, segregated and protected pedestrian access to the accommodation.
  • Weekly meetings and toolbox talks were used for improvement and new ideas on safety.
  • The site manager was qualified and experienced in the company’s safety requirements.
  • Induction and toolbox talks covered safety attitudes and behaviour and there were various posters displayed.
  • Weekly briefings were used to provide current safety and risk information to operatives and there was a hazard board.
  • The site encouraged safety-conscious attitudes and there was a verbal warning system in place for disciplining poor behaviour.
  • The site manager operated an open door policy. There were small rewards in place for operatives who promoted safety on site.
  • Random drug and alcohol testing was carried out.
  • A safety talk was given to students when they arrived on site to view the proposed learning centre.
  • The site introduced suggestion cards for operatives to promote safety on site.
  • Operatives’ contact details and medical conditions were recorded on the induction form.
  • Operatives’ CSCS and skills cards were required and recorded.
  • Regular reviews were carried out on the competency of the operatives and training was readily available.
  • The company attended school career evenings and recruitment fairs, and offered apprenticeship opportunities.
  • Trainee and student placements were offered to local unemployed people.
  • Surveillance, screening and operative’s wellbeing information was available for the workforce, including a referral to head office if required.
  • Respect and diversity posters were on display and covered in toolbox talks.

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