Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners
The Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners is a membership organisation for those working in cleaning and related industries and one that our Director Michelle Brightly is a Liveryman and member of. WCEC members represent companies who hire over a million people within the cleaning, waste management and building services sectors combined.
Although some aspects may have changed over the years, being a Freeman of the City of London still remains a unique part of the history of the capital. In order to become a Liveryman, members typically move through the ranks from Freedom of the Company, to Freedom of the City, and finally Livery of the Company. Liverymen are Freemen of the City of London and are permitted to wear the livery of either the ancient guild or the district they belong to.
Founded in 1972, the organisation was formally known as The Guild of Cleaners, but this was later changed to The Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners (WCEC) in 1983. A few years later in 1986, a petition was submitted to make the WCEC a Company of the City of London and was later constituted as the 97th Livery Company of the City of London.
Since 2004, The Armourers’ Hall has been home to Court Meetings and Luncheons held by the WCEC. Additionally, Charity Trustee Meetings and Finance and General Purpose Meetings are typically held at the site. That being said, other sites are used for meetings in order to accommodate for more guests. The famous hall dates back to 1322, and since then has survived two major historic incidents – the Great Fire of 1666 and the blitz in 1940. Over the years, parts of the building inside and out have been refurbished, but the building’s overall character remains the same.
Each and every one of the circa 170 members are either Managers or Directors involved in cleaning and support services, and the WCEC are committed to the industry, ensuring it is at the heart of everything they do.
Various memberships make up the WCEC, and most recently, at their July Court meeting, the Master, Wardens and Court of Assistants established three new routes to full membership; Corporate Membership, Pathway Membership and Military Membership, with hopes to encourage growth and raise their reputation ever further.
Corporate Membership will allow organisations to join as a whole, with three delegates appointed the title of Corporate Member for a period of time. Pathway Membership will focus more on those new to the industry and possibly a new generation of WCEC members for the future. Military Membership welcomes those from Armed Forces backgrounds, as the WCEC and cleaning industries in general have always had strong links with the Military, celebrating individuals at yearly awards luncheons and so on. With regards to the Forces, the WCEC holds a Military Awards Ceremony each year, recognising the skills, determination and efforts displayed by military members and how each and every one of those in the Armed Forces uses those attributes to overcome challenges in all aspects of their lives.