By SPP Reporter

Sodexo Defence develops, manages and delivers a diverse range of on-site services that are designed to improve the quality of life for the Armed Forces Community. At Merville Barracks, Colchester, Sodexo Defence’s Logistics Support Unit (LSU) team works hard to provide service families with efficient and worry-free accommodation services. Please find some frequently asked questions about these services below:

1.How can a soldier living in Service Family Accommodation (SFA) see the types of furniture held in the LSU?

By visiting the LSU main office at Merville Barracks in person and asking to see the furniture that goes into SFA.

2.What day/time should I visit the LSU?

Please visit the LSU between 1030-1130hrs and 1300-1400hrs from Monday to Thursday.

3.How much furniture can I have in my service family quarter?

There are MOD guidelines that dictate the furniture allocated to each property. However, if a policy changes and families are able to ask for more furniture, then your Accommodation Services Accountant (ASA) will advise you.

4.Is there a cost for furniture?

Yes, there is for certain items. The cost is worked out on a points system i.e. every item of furniture has a points value in percentage; a total of up to 50% is classed as part furnished and over 50% is classed as fully furnished. Your ASA who has an office at the Community Centre in Fallowfield Road would be happy to explain the calculation to you.

Yes we do. However there is a six week limit whereby you must return the pack to the LSU, unless you have special circumstances to keep hold of the pack for longer. There is no cost for this unless you damage the items or fail to clean any of them.

6.Do you have children’s items such as high chairs and is there a cost to them?

Yes we do hold children’s items, such as; high chairs, play pens, safety gates, cots and mattresses. There is no cost to these items unless you damage or fail to clean them.

7.Do you have gardening equipment and is there a cost to this?

Yes we do hold gardening equipment, such as; electric lawn mowers (including circuit breakers for safety), spades, forks and shears. There is no cost to these items unless you damage or fail to clean them.

8.Why do I have to clean these items?

The items you ask for are on loan, therefore must be returned in the same condition you receive them. They will then be redistributed to another family.

9.What about mattresses, are they also redistributed to other families?

What about mattresses, are they also redistributed to other families?

10. In what circumstances would a soldier be billed for items of furniture?

We are here to help and advise service families and hope not to bill soldiers for anything. For example, if a family is issued with a double bed and a dining table and both are returned clean and serviceable, then they would not be billed (we do take normal wear and tear into consideration). However, if the double mattress was badly stained and the dining table leg had been damaged by a family pet, then a bill would be raised due to negligence. Every case of damage is looked at according to individual circumstances.

11. Can bills be paid by instalments?

This is a matter for your unit.

12. Am I able to dispute any charges made against me?

Again, this is a matter for your unit.

13. How soon can I return my furniture when I have nished with it and is there a cost for this?

Returning furniture to the LSU from SFA is called WHARFing; an acronym from the expression: “Warehousing and Refurnishing”. You can return MOD owned furniture at any time, but the speed of pick-up will depend on other pick-ups/deliveries in your area.

14. How many times can I WHARF furniture?

You can WHARF furniture as many times as you like depending on transport availability

15. Will my pay be re-adjusted once I return my furniture?

Your ASA will advise you on this matter as they initiate the relevant paperwork for your unit and Amey to action.

16. What should I do if an electrical applianceI receive from the LSU becomes faulty?

DO NOT USE IT and report the matter to your ASA immediately.

17. Can exchanges for faulty items be made through the ASAs?

Yes, as long as the items have been cleaned.

18. How many children’s stair gates can I have?

Your ASA will be able to explain what the criteria are for your individual circumstances.

19. What happens if I have MOD furniture and there is a marriage break-up or bereavement?

Do not worry – your ASA will deal with the issue in a compassionate and confidential manner. He/she will advise and reassure you that their primary concern is your welfare with regard to furniture holdings.

20. Where can I go for advice?

Please contact one of the ASAs below or if you are in Colchester, please visit the Community Centre Office where two dedicated ASAs will be happy to help:


Accommodation Service Manager Tel:- 01206 81 6568
Accommodation Services Supervisor Tel:- 01206 81 6601 / 07917227361 Fax:- 01206 81 6564
Woodbridge, ASA Tel:- 01394 460098 / 07795665346 Fax:- 01394 460098
Wattisham, ASA Tel:- 01449 728290/ 07920788989 Fax:- 01449 743716
Accommodation Service Warehouse Tel:- 01206 81 6562
Administration Officer Tel:- 01206 81 6560 Fax 01206 81 6564
For General advice, call the ASA Co-Ord Malcolm Bacon Tel:- 01206 81 6565

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