For the second year running we ran our Christmas Gift Drive which started on Tuesday 2 December and run through until Thursday 12 December. Gift tags where place on Christmas trees in each reception and in Flour’s canteen where Occupiers were warmly welcomed to take a tag and purchase a gift for someone in need. Tags offered a suggested gift and age range to match the needs of local charities. We have been blown away by how incredibly generous our occupiers have been and are delighted to say that we received a recording breaking 360+ gifts!

The presents were handed out to local charities such as Step by Step, who provide accommodation and support for homeless youths; Frimley Park Hospital who will hand out gifts to children hospitalised over the festive period; The Mayors Christmas Grotto and Sandyhill Project who both hosted Christmas parties for families in extreme deprivation; and to the elderly Home Help clients who have no next of kin and therefore unlikely to receive any Christmas gifts.

Each charity expressed their thanks and highlighted the important and positive impact this has, especially at this time of year when emotions are magnified. Melissa, Chairperson for Sandyhill Project said ‘I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the amazing presents, we went through them all this morning and we have been able to give each child two gifts each. People’s generosity is huge and we cannot express our thanks enough.’

Farnborough hosted a three-day Christmas Market from the 3–5 December which took place under the iconic hangar frame on Heritage Square. The market was open daily from 11:30-18:30 with a different line up of stallholders each day. There were ten stall each day and ranged from festive homeware to sheep skins rugs to eco friendly baubles. Each stallholder displayed their fantastic range of gifts in Christmassy German style huts. Occupiers were delighted with the Christmas market which offered them the opportunity to get some Christmas shopping done without having to face the manic high street on a weekend.

The Christmas festivities didn’t stop there, we also held our annual Christmas Light Switch on Tuesday 3 December where infant students from the local primary School, Towerhill, joined us to turn the lights on and treated us to a carol concert. One of the students also won a competition to design our Christmas tree topper and was rewarded with £40 of High Street Vouchers.

There was also free hot chocolate from Aviators café to keep occupiers warm as they browsed the stalls and a free face painting stall for occupiers’ children who joined them after school and work. Local volunteers from Farnborough Sixth Form College also come to site to offer a gift-wrapping service to raise funds for a local charity.

And if that wasn’t enough to get our occupiers in the Christmas sprite, we also hosted our annual Wreath Making Workshop on Thursday 5 December. 100 occupiers joined us to take part in the workshop where they were able to get creative and design their very own Christmas wreaths to proudly hang in pride of place on their front doors.

These festive activities raised just under £1000 for The Community Matters Project which will go towards projects and volunteering to support young people in our local community.

We are delighted to announce that our front of house team are now Mental Health First Aid Champions. At Farnborough, we understand that work life can course strains and take a toll on people’s mental health and we actively try to offer an environment which focuses on wellbeing. With our Front of House Executives often the first point of contact for our occupiers it recognised that it was important to offer the team some professional training to ensure they are well equipped to spot the signs of ill mental health and to know how to positively support someone suffering from any mental health issues.

The training, which took place on Wednesday 27th November was a one-day MHFA Mental Health First Aid course and was led by Simplia Healthy Solutions. The course is designed to better support colleagues in the workplace and to confidently signpost to support agencies.

Lisa Jones, Receptionist at The Hub said, ‘the reception team get to know the occupiers in our buildings really well and as such become confidants and someone they may choose to confide in. I now feel better prepared and confident to be able to support someone who might be in need.’

A huge thanks also goes to Syniti for being warm hosts for holding this training session in their boardroom.

We celebrated all things wellness at Farnborough Business Park from the 7-11 October 2019 to mark National Work Life Week. The purpose of the week is to look at opportunities to focus on wellbeing at work and work life balance to help maintain a healthy work environment, to reduce stress and prevent burnouts in the workplace. As such, this week became our Wellbeing Week where we delivered a programme of complimentary activities for our occupiers to enjoy, all of which had wellness at their core. 

The programme provided free exercise classes, chair massages and reflexology appointments; occupiers were able to check up on their health with free body MOTs; they could use scooters as a more sustainable and fun way of getting around the Park; they visited pop up shops which had discounted plant-based beauty products available to purchase; The Community Partnership Project came to site to talk about volunteering and the benefits for your wellbeing; and they could pick up a complimentary copy of Happiful Magazine which is full of useful articles and tips on how to deal with mental health and wellness issues. 

 Also held during the week was World Mental Health Day on Thursday 10 October 2019. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of mental health and to better provide support. To mark this day, we updated all poster holders across the park to sign post support agencies and we hosted a Tea and Talk event in Aviators café where occupiers joined us for free refreshments and could purchase a slice of cake for a £1 donation. The simple aim of the event is to bring colleagues together to connect and chat. The event raised £65.85 which was donated to the Mental Health Foundation. 

After the Tea and Talk event, we welcomed the Samaritans into the Café where they addressed occupiers on what to look for in colleagues who are struggling, how to support them and how to actively listen. They also gave an insightful view into the workings of the charity and how to get involved as a volunteer. 

A huge thanks to all occupiers who came along and got involved in weeks activities. It was a great success and saw many people stepping away from their desk to take some well-deserved me time. 

On Tuesday 17 September, 54 occupiers from Farnborough Business Park took part in a complimentary defibrillator training session. These sessions came after the introduction of six defibrillators placed in each managed reception across the Park.

Chris Field, Senior Facilities Manager said, ‘We felt it was important to introduce defibrillators as a commitment to the safety of our occupiers on the Park. The next logical step was to offer training to allow as many people as possible to be well informed and confident to use the defibs should the need ever arise.’

Training was provided by TAG Fire Station personnel who offered some basic CPR and practical training on the AEDs. Caroline Lowther, Office Administrator for Syneos Health said, ‘The defib training was really helpful. I’ve done the St. Johns AED training course before, but it was great to have a refresher, to be able to ask questions and have a go at using a dummy version of the one we have. I’m so glad we have these readily available across the business park now, it’s such a great investment – let’s just hope they never have to be used!’

If you couldn’t attend the training but would like to know more please click here to view a St Johns demonstration on how to use a defibrillator.

On Saturday 24 August 2019, a spectacle was held under the Hangar at Farnborough Business Park, where 200 people were transported to long ago in a galaxy far, far away by Anywhere Film Festival, a not-for-profit organisation who hosted Rushmoor’s first ever free outdoor film festival. The festival kick started at Farnborough with a viewing of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Guests were greeted and interrogated by members of The Rebel Legion UK who generously donated their time for photographs with audiences both big and small. Once ice creams and burgers had been brought and viewing position taken, a short film and the main feature roared through the evening, complemented by the Hangar’s imperious structure and the star-studded night sky.

Henry Douthwaite, founder of Anywhere Film Festival said, ‘we have just completed a successful season of screenings and all being well will return next year with another extravaganza. It’s with huge thanks to Farnborough Business Park for allowing us to launch our festival on the Park enabling communities to come together to celebrate different cultures and diverse lives whilst enjoying this cinematic experience together.’

If you’re looking to attend next year, please follow their social media and keep and eye on their website, www.anywherefilmfestival.co.uk, to find out what intriguing location they’ll pop-up next!

On Wednesday the 10thJuly, Occupiers came together under the Hangar at Heritage Square for the first ever Farnborough Food Fest. Our usual food trucks all pitched up on the same day to create this festival, which brought a fantastic atmosphere to the park with so many companies and colleagues socialising together whilst indulge in some delicious food and partake in the lawn games such as Badminton, giant Jenga and giant dominos; or they were able to just sit back and relax in the deck chairs whilst enjoying Wimbledon on the big screen and tucking into their lunches.

This event was set up as a social for our Occupiers but also as a way to raise funds for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice who are the only hospice care service for adults across the whole of West Surrey and parts of North East Hampshire.

Tom Enser, Corporate Partnerships Fundraiser at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice said, “The Farnborough Business Park Food Fest was a great success and we would like to say a huge thank you to Katy and the rest of the staff at Farnborough Business Park for their hard work making it such a fantastic day. There was a great atmosphere on the day and the funds raised will help continue to fun the vital care & support we provide in the community. 2019 is a very special year for the hospice as it is our 40th anniversary, for 40 years we have been providing supportive and compassionate end of life care. All our care and services are still free of charge for our patients and their families, this has only been possible thanks to generous donations from individuals and companies in the local area.”

We raised funds several ways on the day; every food truck kindly donated £1 from each sale, Phyllis Tuckwell held a raffle, Syneos Health and Ouno Creative reward their staff by treating them to lunch, and Fluor hosted a company-wide dress down day. All in, we raised an incredible £4260 for this fantastic charity.

Katy Marlow, Events Coordinator at Farnborough said, ‘A huge thanks to everyone who came along and took part in the festival. It was brilliant to see so many of you under the hangar enjoying the festivities. And, as a result of everyone coming together, we were able to raise a terrific amount of money for such a worthwhile cause. What a fantastic day!’

 

Farnborough Business Park saw 40, 1-7 year olds take part in a fun run ahead of the Twilight Runway Challenge on Saturday 22 July. This year, The Community Matters Partnership, who organise the Twilight which takes place at TAG Farnborough Airport, introduced the Mini Twilight Runway Challenge to allow youngsters to get involved in the fantastic community event.

The children headed to Farnborough Business Park, along with their parents, where they were tasked with running a track under the Hangar at Heritage Square. Just like the Twilight Runway Challenge they can walk, run, hop, skip, cycle or scoot. Before the run, the little ones took part in face painting and had photos with two mascots from Aldershot Football Club.  The race was started by the mascots, but the kids soon took over and raced ahead. At the finish line they were greeted with good bags from The Village Hotel, Farnborough.

Antea Rastall, Fundraising Events Coordinator at The Community Matters Partnership Project said ‘It was so exciting to hold our first ever CMPP Mini Twilight Event at the Airship Hangar on Farnborough Business Park. What a fantastic venue and FBP were so accommodating by letting us not only use the space, but also with providing us with tables, chairs and a gazebo. Everyone LOVED the setting; I hope we can be partnered up with FBP on this event for many years to come.’

This event raised a fantastic £1,800 which will support projects which raise the aspirations of young people in our local area.

 

On Wednesday 3 July, together with The Community Matters Partnership Project and Zurich Community Trust, Farnborough Business Park were delighted to be able to host an ‘Experience of the Workplace Day’ for five local secondary schools.

The aim of the day was to inspire students by introducing them to the wide range of businesses in Farnborough. Students from Alderwood, Wavell, Cove, Fernhill and Samuel Cody were invited into five businesses in Farnborough – Willmott Dixon, TI Media, The Village Hotel, Fluor and Zurich. Each company spent 45 minutes with a group of 12, year 9 or 10 students to give them an overview of their organisation. The companies took the time to highlight the wide range of roles available within their company and invited a graduate to speak about their experience within their role, sessions finished with a tour of their offices.

The day was a great success and left the students feeling inspired about their career aspirations ahead of their GCSEs the following year. The Wavell School said, ‘the students really enjoyed themselves, I’ve already had one student approach me for contact details so they are able to organise their own work experience in their own time with one of the businesses on the Park. The trip fulfilled all the criteria we would have hoped for when targeting our Pupil Premium students – a very worthwhile activity.’

 

 

We are delighted to announce that Caffe Kix has been selected as the new operator for Aviators Café. Caffe Kix is a leading independent café operator wholly owned and managed by its founders. They started life as a coffee specialist and over 15 years have grown to become a full foodservice café operator.

Aviators café will undergo a complete refurbishment to create a warmer, welcoming environment with zoned seating areas suitable for a relaxed coffee; meeting friends for lunch; or as an option for informal meetings.

Rupert Warburton, Chief Executive for Caffe Kix said, ‘we specialise in creating cafés with a cool ambience (where we want to hang out ourselves!) but critically which also serve our customers great food and drinks, quickly and efficiently during the peak busy times. Most of our 25 cafés in premium offices and business parks are open to passing retail trade. We deeply understand our customers’ need for a great range of everyday affordable breakfast, lunchtime and all-day snacking products served quickly and with love. We are thrilled to have been chosen to redesign and operate Aviators.’

The refurbishment will commence in July and is due to open for operation at the end of October.  The café will be open from 7.30am–4pm and will serve a great range of food, including healthy breakfasts, deli salads, hotpots, soups, jacket potatoes, cakes, muffins and tray bakes.

Chris Field, Senior Facilities Manager at Farnborough Business Park said, ‘we are thrilled that Caffe Kix has been chosen as the new café operator at Farnborough Business Park and we are excited to be able to bring this fantastic offering to our occupiers.’