Tuesday, 28th October 2014

‘Build a Future’ for vulnerable children in Swaziland

Our team heads out to Africa to aid a charity construction project

On Sunday 2 November 2014 six of our trainees/students/younger staff depart on a two week trip to Swaziland to carry out building work on a local community project.  The trip is Company funded but in part contributed to by the charitable endeavours of the staff involved. This is the first year we have run this scheme and the first of our lucky attendees are Adam Rohan, Andrew Millis, Charlie Saunders, Megan Forster, Scott Ward and Zoe Wickins. Erica Denman, as a seasoned veteran of this trip, will accompany the group as team leader.

The scheme is called “Build a Future” and is run by a charity called All Out Africa which organises a number of volunteer led projects in South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana and Swaziland.  Volunteers can assist with building, teaching, community work, sports development and conservation work.  In Swaziland a lot of the focus is on orphaned or vulnerable children who are an unfortunate result of increasingly high HIV infection rates.   Latest estimates are that 26% of the population are carriers (as a comparison, in the UK the reported figure is 0.2%)

The building work is tough as everything is done by hand from levelling the ground with a pickaxe, mixing up mortar with a spade and making bricks one by one using your body weight to compress the blocks and the sun to dry it all.  As an example the deluxe classroom & kitchen unit in the pictures below was made with the following tools:  3 happy volunteers, 1 local builder, 2 wheelbarrows, 2 trowels, 2 spades, 2 rakes, 1 machete, 1 pickaxe, 1 bit of mesh, 1 hammer, 2 sponges, 2 oil drums for access to up to the roof and wood used variously as scaffold, props, levellers, roof supports and beams.

Through Build a Future, volunteers have helped to build  a community centre, a classroom, several toilets and a shop unit amongst other equally venerable structures.  It is an extremely rewarding venture for both parties.  The children obviously have somewhere to eat, shelter, use a loo and learn but they also benefit a great deal from interaction with English speakers, be it a simple hug and hello or teaching them how to read the time.  As for the volunteers…well that’s simple….one can never appreciate how fortunate we are in the west until one sees these children, without anything  in the world, still smile, still play, still be happy.…and all because they now have a classroom in which to learn the alphabet.

All the very best to Adam, Andrew, Charlie, Erica, Megan, Scott and Zoe for the trip.

There is a computer at their hostel so will do our best to keep you updated on their adventure!

Friday, 10th October 2014

Construction and Civil Engineering Magazine

An insight into the history and ethos of our company

Walter Lilly article

The story of Walter Lilly’s 90 year history is featured in issue 110 of the industry leading publication:

Established in 1924, Walter Lilly & Co Ltd has a 90-year tradition of providing highly acclaimed and specialised solutions to high-end construction projects.
The remarkable history of Walter Lilly & Co Ltd begins with a game of cards. The business was initially established when plumber Walter Gent Lilly won the freehold to a builder’s yard in St Ann’s Street located at the back of Westminster Abbey, London. Capitalising on his luck, Mr Lilly decided to go into business himself and the company has continued to grow with dedication to highquality and specialist works in prestige projects and science and education. In 1955 the Lilly family sold the business to its current owners the Y J Lovell Group, now known as Renew Holdings plc and in 2001 Walter Lilly consolidated its holdings to more suitable accommodation in Waddon near Croydon. 2014 has been a crucial milestone for the company with Walter Lilly continuing to trade under its own name after 90 years in operation and a further move to a new location, this time in central Croydon, which was completed in July.
See the full article:

Tuesday, 7th October 2014

Board Restructure Announcement

A notable retirement and new appointments to our Board of Directors

After 30 years with the Company and 20 years as a Director, Graham Corless has advised the Board of his intention to retire on the 31st March 2015.

Graham has been a loyal servant of the Company and it will be difficult to say good-bye, particularly as some of us have worked alongside him and enjoyed his companionship for all of those 30 years. We will make sure Graham is sent off in a fitting way at a retirement function to be organised in the New Year. Invitations will follow in due course.

Graham will retain the title and the responsibilities of Surveying Director until he retires on the 31st March 2015, at which point the Board are delighted to announce that Chris Butler has agreed to become our new Surveying Director. Chris’s appointment will be effective from 1st April 2015.

The Board are equally delighted to announce the appointment of Duncan Beach to the role of Commercial Director, taking Graham’s previous Financial Director role. The appointment is immediate and Graham will commence a controlled transfer of his commercial responsibilities to Duncan over the coming weeks.

Duncan joined the Group in 2003 and has been with Walter Lilly since 2004 as a senior member of our commercial management team. He has played a major part in the successful delivery of many of our most prestigious private residential projects in that time.

Chris joined Walter Lilly in 1998 whilst undertaking his degree course at Loughborough University. He joined our surveying team in 2002 and was promoted to Managing Surveyor in 2012. His promotion to the Board reflects the significant contribution he has made to the business in that time. This promotion in particular, will hopefully serve as a great inspiration to our younger staff and sponsored students, who aspire to one day join our senior management team.

We are sure you will join us in wishing Duncan and Chris every success in their new roles.

It is always pleasing when succession comes from within. It is an active demonstration of the strength in depth of the company concerned.

If you have any questions regarding this announcement, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Managing Director

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