Bexleyheath Academy is at its busiest on Sundays with a wide range of activities and lettings going on, for me this makes it one of the best days of the week to work on shift.
I normally arrive at the Academy early so I can squeeze in one final cup of coffee before getting ready for the day ahead, once this is out of the way my staff and I begin by unlocking and preparing rooms that are to be used during the course of the day.
I normally begin with the Sports block, we have football teams using two pitches on a Sunday morning, so ensuring the changing rooms etc are ready for use is really important, as they are used by a large number of people. Next on the list is our large 6th form block, we use a wide range of facilities here, mostly during the week. However on Sundays it becomes home to one of our visiting churches who use the ground floor area and our conference room.
Once the 6th form is prepared we head off to the main building where most of the setting up is done on either the Friday or Saturday evening, this saves time with Sunday mornings being quite hectic. Some of the churches have musical equipment that needs to be dropped off and set up, so staff members are on hand to lend a hand if needed.
By mid morning the Academy is in full swing with all the morning lettings in at their respective facilities, during this period staff and I patrol the site checking for cleanliness/health and safety/ and safeguarding issues. To be honest we rarely find anything as everyone is made aware of what is required of them when they first take out their contracts. Should something arise its dealt with swiftly by my staff who are very experienced and knowledgeable with both the site and most of our customers.
By lunchtime some of the churches have finished their services, now the real work begins.
Following every letting we have to ensure the facility is clean and tidy and set up correctly for the Academy on Monday mornings.
We do our utmost to keep our footprint at the Academy to a minimum, after all first and foremost this is a school.
Every room we use is inspected and cleaned if needed, although to be honest most of our customers leave their facilities in a fairly good condition as required in the terms of their contracts. We empty the bins, move tables and chairs back to where they should be and generally ensure the room is ready for the students and teaching staff on Monday morning.
After lunch and a much needed coffee we sweep out the changing rooms, litter pick the field and empty the bins on the Sports Field (if needed) , nice job in the summer but not so good on days when its cold and raining, but its a job that needs doing so we do it.
Once this is done we continue monitoring the site and ensuring anything that our customers need is catered for, we quite often get requests for extra chairs, tables, brooms, dust pans and brushes, black bags and all manner of other things.
During the course of the day we can have anywhere from 300-400 people on the site so there’s always plenty to do.
The evenings are normally a bit quieter on the lettings front so we use the time ensuring the site is secure, we check windows are closed, doors are locked and lights are turned off. We don’t just check the areas we’ve used, we check the whole site which can take quite a bit of time due to its size.
Once the final lettings leave and we have cleaned and reset the rooms its time to finally leave, I normally get home between 9.00 pm and 9.30 pm so its a long day, but for me an enjoyable one. I like speaking with our customers, many of whom have used the Academy for years, they all have stories to tell.
Once home its time for another coffee and a check of my e-mails, its busy being a Venue Manager but very rewarding.