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Laura Dent of So Fresh & So Clean

SWINDON-BASED COMPANY QUALIFIES TO OFFER EXTREME CLEANING SERVICES

Swindon-based cleaning company So Fresh and So Clean has become one of only a small number of companies in Wiltshire and the South West qualified to undertake extreme cleaning services.

This means the company is qualified to dispose of biohazard waste and specialist cleaning services that are beyond the training of other companies, including drug paraphernalia, bodily fluids following trauma or death and supporting people to deal with hoarding situations.

Company director Laura Dent said it was a request from a regular client that prompted the move into extreme cleaning.

“During the pandemic, we were carrying out carpet cleaning for one of our regular commercial clients, a hotel in the town centre, which was being used by the council to house the homeless. We got to know the support workers who asked if we carried out needle sweeps. At the time, because of the pandemic, there was no in-person training available, so we completed an online course and gained our qualifications. 

“It’s an area of cleaning where we’ve striven to become qualified because we know we can really help individuals who may be very vulnerable and we can help organisations locally deal with very difficult situations.”

Neil and Laura Dent, who live in Swindon, started So Fresh & So Clean as a carpet cleaning company in 2011. Back then they had one carpet cleaning machine with Neil as the only employee. 

“Neil started doing carpet cleaning and end-of-tenancy cleaning out the back of our car,” said Laura. “I did the accounts and invoices and occasionally helped with larger jobs.”

From those humble beginnings, the company has grown steadily and now offers a variety of services that include specialist and bio-hazard cleaning, which grew organically out of the company’s other services.

“I never expected to go down this path but now we’re here it seems inevitable,” Laura explains. “It has become obvious there is a clear need for these types of services across Swindon, Wiltshire and beyond. 

“Last year, we went on a biohazard cleaning course in Somerset. The training involves knowing how to keep yourself protected, what chemicals are involved, how to use them correctly and how to safely carry and dispose of biohazard waste. All staff that come on board will go through the same training.”

Perhaps inevitably, given the nature of the environments in which specialist cleaning is required, Neil and Laura have added Level 3 mental health first aid training to the company’s portfolio.

“It was natural for us to have a much deeper understanding of why someone might hoard or get to a situation where their home becomes a hazard rather than a safe place. 

“We’ve gained the skills to recognise and respond to a mental health crises in a safe and effective manner. This type of training has helped to identify early warning signs of a mental health crisis, understand how to provide appropriate support, and know how to access professional help if needed. 

“Additionally, the training has helped us reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health illnesses and will help us to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for those suffering. This is important because it can help ensure our clients are treated with empathy, compassion and understanding.”

Extreme cleaning services are needed for a wide variety of reasons. The company works with support workers, hospital discharge teams, mental health charities, probate solicitors, care homes and care providers, and directly with clients and their relatives. 

They might be called in when a person has been suffering from mental health issues and their property has reached a level where it's unsafe and too overwhelming to deal with. It might be for a person who needs assistance with hoarding, a person with mobility issues or an elderly person who needs assistance in cleaning where the level has gone beyond what a domestic cleaner is trained for. 

Other clients might include a probate solicitor or relative of someone who has passed away and where cleaning and clearing the property has become too big a task to deal with physically and emotionally. 

“Another situation would involve dealing with any type of bodily fluid clean-up following trauma or death, infection control and outbreaks, crisis cleaning, needle sweeps and drug den clean-ups.

“It’s very sensitive work and whoever needs to use these lifeline services will be looking for a company that is approachable and understanding, and who will conduct their work with the respect and dignity it deserves.”

As well as offering extreme cleaning, the company also offers a full range of commercial cleaning services. To find out more about So Fresh and So Clean please visit https://www.sofreshandsoclean.org.uk

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy Bath

Scott Media

Scott Media is run by a UK-based journalist with more than 20 years' experience in the media - print, radio and television.

Nexus Business Centre, Darby Street, Cheney Manor, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN2 2PN

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