Affordable Accommodation 4 Students Association Limited (AA4S), previously known as Cass and Claredale Halls of Residence Association Limited, runs two buildings in the East End of London that provide term-time accommodation for students who are studying in London and to tourists and interns during the summer.
With premises in Hackney and Bethnal Green, the business manages close to 400 beds across both sites, plus the additional cooking, communal and washing facilities their residents need to live comfortably while they’re studying. As you can imagine, AA4S regularly needs help cleaning and maintaining these areas – and this is where TWO’s team gladly steps in, at various intervals throughout the year.
AA4S is one of our longest-standing clients. We sat down with Hall Manager, John Edwards, to discuss the special working relationship between his company and TWO Services, and why he’s stuck with our cleaning team for the best part of three decades.
Where it all started
It’s been more than 25 years since AA4S initially approached TWO, so it’s tricky to know exactly how our working relationship started! But John remembers an urgent requirement for a team that had the experience and the capabilities to make his life easier – and one that would be willing to help him take his venture to the next level.
“At that point, the building we were operating was tired and outdated, and we knew we needed to do better for the people who were staying with us,” he explains. “We had used a few cleaning companies in the past but hadn’t been happy with the results.
“We used TWO for a couple of years, and overall we were impressed with their work. However, we wanted to take the contract out to tender to see what else was out there. I think we were guilty of trying to chase the cheapest possible deal at the time – but this backfired when the other companies we worked with became complacent and started delivering work that was under par. So, we contacted TWO again to pick up where we left off, and we haven’t looked back since.”
Delivering fast-paced cleaning solutions to address unique challenges
John’s business is seasonal. He calls upon TWO Services to handle the fast turnaround of rooms that happens every summer, when the previous year’s students are ready to leave, and the accommodation is temporarily repurposed into summer accommodation.
“We rely on TWO to manage every move-out, which always needs to happen during one weekend in the middle of June,” he says.
“This is an incredibly daunting job because the team needs to clean every single bedroom, bathroom, toilet, kitchen, and communal facility to a high standard in a short timeframe. As you can imagine, some rooms are left in good or OK condition, while others aren’t particularly well looked after by our residents and need a lot more attention.
“The challenge TWO faces is being able to get all these areas back up to scratch, regardless of the state they’ve been left in. No two years are the same. We have had instances when the summer cleans have been more demanding and unpredictable, and we’ve had to run a little over time. But we know that TWO will always go out of their way to help us achieve our targets, as they have proven time and time again.”