952 days ago
If you need a portaloo delivered to the middle of the Yorkshire Dales who do you call? The MOD at Imphal Barracks knows it can rely on the Sodexo team to deliver this and a range of other essential services at the York-based barracks.
Okay, so the portaloo requests are just for special training exercises, but back at the barracks a 105-strong Sodexo team – led by services manager Lynda Rippin – are looking after the everyday needs of over 600 soldiers across four messes, not to mention a further 40 Reservist units in the surrounding area.
The main restaurant serves up to 300 covers a day, offering a wide choice of hot and cold food from a nutritionally balanced, yet high-energy, menu. Catering services extend to two officers’ messes, a warrant officers & sergeants’ mess and a junior ranks’ mess. The team also runs three mess bars.
The popular on-site Londis shop operates five days a week, offering convenience goods and grab n’go food.
The barracks hosts 40 official events every year, including celebrations for the Queen’s birthday and Coronation Day. The hospitality team caters for functions for anything from three to 300 guests, both inside and in garden marquees.
With 70 buildings on site, there’s a lot of ground to cover for the cleaning team, who work shifts between 6am and 7.30pm. Our 25 cleaners cover messes, accommodation blocks, gyms, office spaces, guardrooms, garages, workshops and toilets. Five dedicated domestic assistants also look after personal residencies for high-ranking officers.
Covering 40 locations and 350 square miles – from Bishop Auckland north of York, to Scunthorpe to the south – teams of one to three provide cleaning and support services to Reservist units linked to Imphal Barracks.
Meet the team
Hub Dine manager Sharron Hutton has been at Imphal for an amazing 27 years. She charts her rise with Sodexo.
“I left school in May 1978, with no qualifications. After spells working in shops and cafés I spotted a couple of adverts on the job centre noticeboard in 1988 – one in Homebase and the other at Imphal. I applied for – and got offered – both jobs. The decision was easy…I wasn’t going to be seen dead in green dungarees!
I started as a mess hand and on my first day was asked to clean all the skirting and radiators in the dining room. When I finished my shift that night I cycled home thinking ‘what have I done?’
But when I went back in next day, the team greeted me with a round of applause – I’d passed the test! That’s where my Sodexo career started. Within two weeks an opening for a charge hand came up and a couple of the girls nominated me for it, saying I’d already shown team leader skills. I took to it like a duck to water and since then have moved through supervisor, catering manager and front-of-house management roles.
Now I roster a team of fourteen, overseeing a busy restaurant that caters for military and civilian personnel and is open for three meals a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Proudest moment: receiving my 20-year long-service certificate.
Best memory: standing next to Prince Andrew at one of our events.
On Sodexo: Sodexo has played a huge part in my life. I can honestly say hand on heart, I love my job and I have never wanted to leave. Not many people can say that, it makes me feel proud to belong.
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