Family firm back in business after double tragedy
20th December 2017
A family which was forced to give up its cleaning company after being struck by a double tragedy is now back in business at the scene of one of its greatest success stories.
Cleansure Ltd has opened its office at The Deep Business Centre in Hull more than four years after Janet Green and son Julian sold Ben Green & Associates, which counted ABP, P&O Ferries and KCOM among its blue-chip clients.
The decision to sell was prompted by the death in 2006 of Janet’s husband Ben, with Julian almost losing his life to a stroke in 2012. Janet and Julian decided to try again after being encouraged by a former employee, and now Anne O’Brien has joined the two directors as operations manager in the new venture.
Janet said: “At our peak we employed more than 150 people. Ben and I started the business and Julian joined us as we secured more contracts. When Ben died, Julian and I carried on, we took on another manager and things were going well.
“But then Julian had a stroke. He couldn’t eat or speak, and for a time we didn’t even think he would survive, never mind play a part in the business. That was five years ago but he did a lot of physio and he managed to get back to work.”
Ben Green & Associates Ltd was launched in 1995 after helping to set up a contract cleaning division at Reckitts. The company, based at South Ferriby, expanded to open an office at King George Dock in Hull after winning a contract with ABP. When The Deep Business Centre opened in 2001, Ben Green & Associates won the cleaning contract. They still held it at the time of the sale more than 10 years later.
Janet said: “When we were looking for a place to start up again The Deep made perfect sense. We know the place and the people very well and it’s the ideal location in terms of where we live and for servicing our clients.”
Offices are the main area of activity and the team also has considerable experience in cleaning schools, other business premises and communal areas of residential sites. Services extend throughout the Hull and Humber area and include window cleaning, feminine hygiene, dust control mats, washroom services and specialist, one-off projects.
Janet said: “We’re building a team local to where the work is. We had a good relationship with our customers and now we just have to get out there and introduce ourselves again. One or two people have heard what we are doing, and we have had one or two enquiries and picked up some small contracts. We’re not looking to get to the level we reached before – we just want to earn a living from something we are good at.”
Freya Cross, Business and Corporate Manager at The Deep, said: “We can vouch for the quality of the team at Cleansure because we remember them very well from when they provided cleaning services to The Deep Business Centre.
“It was heart-breaking to see Janet go through the loss of her husband, Julian’s illness and then the sale of the company which they’d built up so we’re really pleased to see that they are back in business. We have a strong track record for supporting start-ups and we will be doing all we can to help Cleansure succeed.”