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'Thank You' For Team's Assistance

23 January 2014

The Costain team behind the first new vehicle crossing over the River Thames in 20 years has been thanked for its efforts in aiding a local organisation.

The helping hand for Sunbury and Walton Sea Cadets over the two years of the Walton-on-Thames Bridge project in Surrey was reciprocated by the youngsters and their officers when they threw a celebration dinner for team members.

Eighteen team members, including representatives from Costain’s client, Surrey County Council and designer, Atkins, attended the event and were served by the cadets.

A toast of thanks was given by the unit’s Commanding Officer, commending Costain for its input to the community and offering a ‘Thank you’ to the client for having chosen Costain.

Summing up the evening, Keith Scott, Project Manager for Surrey County Council, said: "The gesture offered by the Sea Cadets to the project team and in particular Costain just shows what a positive impact they have had on the local community, both in terms of delivering an award-winning bridge and in helping the local community in so many ways that are above and beyond those normally expected from a contractor.

“The Costain team has become part of the local community over the past two years and been great ambassadors for Costain and Surrey County Council."

Over the course of the project, the project team had regular connections with the cadet unit. 

Events in which team members were involved included raising £3,500 for the unit through a presentation for the Shepperton Aurora Rotary Club at the club’s Prestige Lecture of 2013. It also raised more than £100 through a Hazard/Observation incentive scheme and provided work experience for one of the cadets.

The Prestige Lecture was a major event that attracted some 350 guests, said Group Technical Director, Bill Hewlett.

The evening was split into three sections. The first gave a history of the crossing – Costain’s new bridge is the sixth to have been built on the site since the early 19th century.

This was followed by a description of the spectrum of community work Costain undertakes in localities where it is working, not just by raising money but through use of its staff’s professional skills, for example by helping out in local schools with subjects such as maths, physics and reading.

The final part of the evening was a presentation on the actual construction of the new bridge – punctuated by four specially-commissioned works by a local poet.

Possibly the most valuable service provided to the cadets, however, was technical advice that saved the unit around £35,000 that it had been quoted for repairs to its jetty. “Our foreman went and had a look at it and realised they didn’t need to spend that money,” said the project’s Office Manager, Denise Greig. “He could see that much easier repairs were possible.”

Bill added: “That’s what I mean by using the professional competence of people who come into the neighbourhood. I think that’s a very important aspect of the contribution our people make to a community.”