Feeding time at the zoo: Volunteers help Chester Zoo get ready for its restaurants’ reopening

July 16, 2020

A group of volunteers from RSK Group helped Chester Zoo prepare to reopen its restaurants

Chester Zoo reopened its food and drink outlets to visitors this month after the government announced changes to the lockdown guidelines, which allowed the reopening of the hospitality sector. But that wasn’t before a team of RSK’s decontamination experts and their families volunteered their time to help the zoo get ready for a safe reopening.

On 28 June, 20 volunteers from RSK visited the zoo to provide a full coronavirus decontamination and protection service for its restaurants, main gift shop and storage areas.

Feeding time at the zoo: Volunteers help Chester Zoo get ready for its restaurants’ reopening


RSK prioritises employee well-being so, as well as helping the zoo, organisers knew it was a great chance for employees to reconnect and boost their mental health during this difficult time. All volunteers had a tour of the zoo after the service was complete.

The business, which is headquartered in nearby Helsby, Cheshire, has been providing COVID-19 decontamination and protection services for offices, facilities and worksites. Unlike conventional deep-cleaning practices, RSK’s coronavirus decontamination and protection service uses novel sanitising products that not only destroy pathogens on contact, but also protect surfaces from coronavirus for up to 30 days post-treatment.

Feeding time at the zoo: Volunteers help Chester Zoo get ready for its restaurants’ reopening Feeding time at the zoo: Volunteers help Chester Zoo get ready for its restaurants’ reopening


“When we heard last month that the zoo was fighting for its future after being told to remain closed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, we knew that there was something we could do to help,” said Erika Taylor, RSK Director. “We’ve provided the zoo with protection measures over and above industry standard while, at the same time, giving a welcome morale boost to local employees.”

Specialist teams supported by volunteers from across the company carried out the service at the gift shop, Bembe Kitchen, June’s Food Court and the on-site British pub, The Oakfield. Some RSK employees were also joined by their families to help with litter picking across the 51-ha site.

“We had a great day being able to help a local worthy cause while also reconnecting with our colleagues, getting outside and experiencing some much-needed normality,” commented volunteer Claire Knighton, Divisional Director of RSK’s contracting division.

Volunteer Richard Pidcock, Managing Director of RSK company Central Alliance, adds: “It was great to see Chester Zoo open again and to be part of the process to get the restaurant facilities safe and protected for the reopening. The zoo is a fantastic charity and I’m sure RSK’s support is welcomed at this difficult time.”

RSK volunteer Ian Wilson with his daughters Izzy and Kit

RSK volunteer Ian Wilson with his daughters Izzy and Kit 

In line with government guidance, the food and drink outlets, main gift shop and some of the zoo’s most popular indoor animal habitats safely reopened to visitors on 4 July. The outdoor areas initially reopened to the public on 15 June.

Find out more about our COVID-19 decontamination services

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Ryan Dunderdale, Senior Surveyor at Central Alliance, providing technical support and on-site training to datum plate install teams down in Bristol.

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