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Stories from the team keeping Olympia London safe

With many of us now at home, we wanted to find out what it’s like working at a venue during this time. We caught up with our Senior Fire and Safety Officer, Charlie Boyes, as he brought a smile to our faces with stories and highlights being at Olympia London.

 

You’re one of the few staff working onsite during the pandemic. What is it like?

We’re a skeleton crew working on a massive venue that usually holds thousands of people so it’s quite surreal coming to work.

What kind of work are you doing at the moment?

A lot of it is compliance work, for example, all the safety systems still need to be maintained. We continue to risk assess the building making sure that high risk areas remain safe. The few of us onsite have learned to extend beyond our roles to help each other. I’ve done liaison with the Hammersmith and Fulham Foodbank who are busy as well as the NHS Corona testing teams all onsite. We’ve all adapted to help as much as we can. We’ve been kept busy and taken on new roles as well. It’s a total team effort.

How is it working together in times of social distancing?

The social distancing is easy because the building is so big – we can work the whole day and probably still remain 20m from each other at any given time. But we still have to be careful and have social distancing in mind all the time.

I make sure that I touch base with everyone onsite at some point. We all make a point of saying good morning on the radio. Everyone onsite is now on the same radio channel so we all talk to each other. Everybody appears to be happy and I’m glad to be at work.

What have been your highlights during these two months of lockdown?

From a work perspective, it’s got to be the Hammersmith and Fulham foodbank and the volunteers – seeing people giving up their time to help others is quite inspiring.

How do you keep yourself entertained during this time?

I’ve been enjoying a lot of family time lately. There are five adults in my house at the moment and that is entertaining in itself - so far, we haven’t killed each other. We’re lucky to have a garden and the weather has been okay. PlayStation also helps keeping the two lads entertained…

Any final thoughts you would like to share with the Olympia London family?

Have confidence that life will return to normal. We will get through this if we are sensible, keep social distancing and we will be back socialising before we know it.

Charlie Boyes, Senior Fire and Safety Officer, Olympia London

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