ABOUT THE CONTRACT
idverde (via legacy company, Quadron Services) commenced its eight-year Parks and Cemeteries Maintenance Contract with Wandsworth Borough Council in February 2013.
Wandsworth boasts 1,600 acres of parks and open spaces, the largest proportion for any inner London authority. Working in partnership with the Council, we are responsible for horticultural and other related maintenance of the Borough’s parks and open spaces, including the prestigious Battersea Park, as well as cemetery maintenance and grave digging. We also manage and maintain Wandsworth’s sports pitches, including taking bookings from the public, utilising the Gladstone leisure management software system to effectively manage this.
Our consultancy arm has committed to assisting Wandsworth with the production of site management plans with the aim of increasing Green Flag accreditations and to facilitate applications for funding of improvement projects.
Commencement of the contract saw the TUPE transfer of 75 staff from the previous contractor, and we undertook a full consultation with the transferring workforce to address potential issues and make this process as smooth as possible.
idverde has pledged to work closely with Wandsworth’s facility users, community interest groups and organisations such as Thrive and Groundwork to provide local opportunities and to maximise the involvement of corporate and community volunteers. Groundwork is also assisting with training up to 10 horticultural apprentices at a time to further aid local sustainability.
Since 2014, we have worked with social enterprise, Blue Sky, which recruits and manages ex-offenders, to provide work opportunities in Wandsworth. Supervised teams work alongside idverde staff to carry out grounds maintenance tasks in Wandsworth’s cemeteries. Since the start of the partnership, many of the candidates have gone on to secure permanent work in the grounds maintenance industry, many of them with idverde.
We have also supported the Tooting Common Heritage Project’s Employment Skills and Learning Project by giving young people the opportunity to gain grounds maintenance training qualifications and experience, empowering them to find work in the industry.
We also work with horticultural therapy charity, Thrive, in Battersea Park’s Old English Garden as part of their ‘Working it Out’ programme. The programme sees candidates, who are often living with disabilities or ill health, work in the garden under supervision of a Thrive horticultural therapist. Their practical work goes towards a recognised horticultural qualification, with idverde’s qualified contract trainers providing small plant training. Colin, a war veteran suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, gained confidence from undertaking the programme, as well as earning a Level 2 City & Guilds Horticulture qualification, which led to a new job working in Wandsworth’s cemeteries.