Early Company History
DC Site Services was established in 1993 by Dick and Janet Collins. Originally, this was to supply staff for various aspects of Greenfield Event Management and included site management, the provision of site crew, stewards for crowd control at both pedestrian and vehicle entrances and controlled parking of vehicles. DC Site Services was also the first company to offer a service to supervise, control and ensure public safety for campsite facilities provided by the promoters. The removal of litter and waste from events has also long been a part of the Events & Festivals services package offered.
Dick and Janet Collins have been involved with UK Events & Festivals since the late 60s when they started by supporting the local Samaritans fundraising team involved with the West Wycombe steam rally, an annual event of county show standing. The steam rally was the first to combine a rally during the day and a 'pop' show at night with Neil Sedaka and Roy Wood & Wizard topping the bill!
Additional support was provided to the steam rally by the promoters of the Reading Festival and this led to Dick and Janet joining the Reading Festival event team or as it was seen at the time 'training school' for outdoor event staff. This is the way that hands-on training was achieved as there were no colleges or universities offering courses at the time.
Dick and Janet worked at weekends on various shows over the following four years organised by the Reading Festival promoters. Following this, Dick worked on the Reading Festival show full time for several years before taking this experience to form DC Site Services Ltd.
The DC Site Services staff database ranges from students looking for extra money to help them through their studies, to professionals wanting an escape from the 9-5 and to those who work at Events & Festivals year-round. No matter the reason for applying to work with DC Site Services, our staff are well-known for being fully committed and usually enjoy the experience so much they return year after year.
DC Site Services in the 1990s
From its small beginnings, DC Site Services has expanded its operations considerably throughout the years. Initially, the company’s services would include providing a handful of staff, often a gathering of family and available friends to provide services of up ten events each year. By the late 90s, the company database had grown to an approximate 150 Event & Festival staff, providing services to more than 20 Events & Festivals each year.
DC Site Services in the Noughties
The growth of the company and requirement for improved recruitment and management techniques inspired the creation of the company website in 2001; initially built and maintained by a friend of the family, Mark Hatchard. He formed this website during his spare time while studying, and later formed Mark's Hampshire Web Design company, Hotbox Studios.
Even in the early noughties, it was never expected that DC Site Services would grow as rapidly as it did over the following years. The staff base quickly grew to over 350 and the company started providing services to around thirty events each year, many running over the same weekend and located country wide!
Due to the addition of small jobs and extra requests at short notice, it was only at the end of 2005 that Dick and Janet realised that in a single year DCSS had employed over a thousand staff at more than fifty Events & Festivals!
In recent years the UK Event & Festival industry has grown exponentially. That growth has brought increasing demands and requirements from legislation, regulations and guidance from the government and governing agencies. Recognising that the industry continues to evolve and grow, as the end of the noughties approached and following more than forty years of involvement, Dick and Janet began to consider both their retirement and the future of DC Site Services...
We’ve had many staff work with us over the years, with several staff now heading towards long service awards! To date, we now service anything up to and exceeding 100+ Events & Festivals each year which run through the summer and continue on into the winter months with a database of Event & Festival staff into the thousands.
Matt Hettle started work with Dick and Janet Collins as a litter picker for a Food and Farming event in Hyde Park in 1992. Matt continued to work with DC Site Services for many years, all while maintaining a full time job; taking time off to attend events and support the team with litter picking, stewarding and traffic management jobs.
Matt gained experience and knowledge in all aspects of event work while gradually taking on roles within the company of greater responsibility. Eventually, Matt was made Director of Operations in 2011 after leaving his fulltime job. From here the team continued to expand due to the ever-increasing demand on the business administratively, to support this demand Matt moved all undertakings into what became the first operational office outside of Wycombe. This was based in Fengate, Peterborough and became the central point of all communications with event staff and clients alike. Soon after came the introduction of our Payroll Clerk Linda Hettle in 2012 and Office Manager, Lindsay Gilbert in 2013. Jonathan Beresford joined as Operations & Development Manager at the start of 2014 after several years of supervising projects onsite. In November 2014, the growing team moved from Fengate to a larger base of operations in Whittlesey, Peterborough.
The continuing growth of the industry has meant DC Site Services has strived to push forward and meet this demand. In 2016 we welcomed Ed Hawker as Operations Manager to take control of a large portion of our client base, assisting Matt and Jon. Ed fit seamlessly into this role after spending many years working onsite with the company. The administrative team was also strengthened with the addition of Julian Arnold who began work as Administration Assistant, later becoming Office Administrator.
In line with DC’s ethos of working within the community and the development of young peoples’ skills, a partnership with Peterborough Regional College was formed to recruit and develop apprenticeships. Connor Shinn became DC Site Services' first apprentice in 2017 - he joined the company whilst studying Business Administration at Peterborough Regional College.
Due to investment in new equipment and vehicles, the need arose for this area of the business to be closely monitored and managed which led to the creation of a new role, Fleet and Stores Manager. Mick Austin joined the team as Fleet and Stores Manager in 2017. Mick oversaw the logistics for the fleet and equipment in storage. He organised and monitored the
stock of cleaning products, materials and equipment, supervised the ever-growing fleet of DC site vehicles and prepared the vehicles for departure to site. Mick also managed health and safety procedures and risk assessments at the unit and was responsible for the distribution and upkeep of crew uniform.
The office team expanded to include a new office assistant; Summer Buckley stepped into this role in late Spring. With a greater demand for staff, a recruitment temp was hired to focus solely on the recruitment of new staff. Their role was to be the first point of contact when a phone call came in, to follow up with new staff and assist in the application process.
Autumn 2019 brought new changes in the layout of the DC offices. The Admin team were reunited with Operations, in a move that saw the operations team moving into the office next door, adjacent from the admin team in prep for changes in 2020.
2020 was a difficult year for many businesses, particularly for those within the Events & Festival industry. The global pandemic meant only a limited number of events were permitted to go ahead, which had a significant impact on DC Site Services as a business. With ongoing financial support from the government we continued to employ our office staff, though structural changes did mean that a few of our team members moved on. 2020 will be remembered as a tough year where we all dug deep to ensure a safe return to an industry we know and love.