Saniflo checks in with its award-winning Saniflo Services team in Cornwall to see how the female-led team is backing up the company’s claim to first-class services.

Saniflo would argue that it has the most comprehensive network of engineers of any plumbing brand in the UK. Over 100 highly experienced, highly trained plumbing businesses have been hand-picked to join the Saniflo engineer team and they cover the length and breadth of the UK to ensure the company’s claim to a first-class back-up and repair service.

In Cornwall, Saniflo is represented by Saniflo Services Cornwall, which was founded in 2002 and is currently run and owned by Lyn Bester-Johnson. She has faithfully served Saniflo and their customers all over Cornwall since she took the business on from her brother-in-law who emigrated to France, along with his plumbing business.

In 2005, Lynn was joined temporarily by mechanical engineer, Kathleen Kosh, who had moved back to Cornwall after studying and working away and was looking for some stop-gap work. Kathleen re-joined the Saniflo Services team in 2019 as a full-time member of staff after a decade in education and the pair have continued to preside over sustained growth in the business. Saniflo Services is now at the point of recruiting and training more staff to optimise the opportunities in Cornwall.  

With Lyn’s exceptional reputation and business development skills and Kathleen’s teaching and engineering qualifications, the duo recently won a coveted award for Best Independent Plumbing & Technical Services 2020 in Cornwall at the Southern Enterprise Awards run by SME News. The awards recognise and reward the often unnoticed efforts of SMEs from the South West region.  

Lyn is, of course, delighted to be acknowledged, particularly as a female run business in the plumbing sector. She said: “It was really nice to be nominated for this award and of course it was a real honour to win. Being a female plumber is not a barrier in this sector.

“As long as you have the skills and integrity there is an opportunity. Engineering is a meritocracy – fakers get found out. Gender is not an issue – customers are very happy as long as the job gets done.”

Lyn has wise words of advice for anyone – male or female – considering plumbing as a career option. She continued: “The opportunities are endless for those looking to become a qualified plumber, but qualifications are important. Basic English and Maths underpin any career and of course open the door to more learning opportunities.

“There are endless courses at colleges throughout the UK and an excellent route in is to start as an apprentice. This offers both theoretical and hands-on practical experience. Once qualified it’s very much a case of building reputation. This is achieved by knowing your stuff and by doing the simple things well – communication, timeliness, punctuality – never underestimate how important actually turning up to do the job is.”

Due to the phenomenal growth of the business, Saniflo Services recruited a new member of the team in April. Richard Squire has hit the ground running and is actively working out in the field with Kath, but is also undergoing an intensive training programme on the comprehensive range of Saniflo units.

This is critical as the company attends many jobs where the wrong unit has been specified. Once Richard is fully trained the capacity of the business will increase again which will further enhance response times. A new, fully equipped van has also arrived after 105,000 miles were clocked up around Devon and Cornwall on the old one.