Guardian24 protects Shelter’s lone workers covering social welfare
Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity employs over 1,200 members of staff and a further 1,700 volunteers. The charity offers free, expert advice to anyone, regardless of their situation. Shelter’s free confidential helpline provides support 365 days per year where expert advisers will listen and support clients. Helping with everything from mortgage arrears to finding a place to sleep, Shelter will take the necessary action or go as far as negotiating on behalf of the client.
Shelter employs a number of advisers to provide client support in person. Regularly, such outreach work is performed alone without immediate help at hand. As a result, advisers are exposed to a greater risk of assault, attack and sustaining injury whilst performing their duties.
According to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), 2014 saw 56% of victims reporting one incident of work related violence whilst 17% experienced two incidents and a staggering 27% experienced three or more incidents. It was also noted that offenders were most likely to be clients or a member of the public known through work.
A solution was needed where Shelter’s social welfare outreach advisers were better protected without the need to ‘double-up’. As a reputable and dependable charity, Shelter is committed to protecting the welfare of their employees; sourcing a suitable Lone Worker protection scheme to help mitigate potential risk.
After consulting with Guardian24, the UK’s market leader for lone worker protection, Shelter opted for over 200 standard mobile phone solutions. The easy to use service operates using speed dial functions and is fully compatible with all mobile phones and operating systems.
Users of Guardian24’s standard mobile phone system can log in and out of client visits, leaving details of their location and expected duration. Should an activity overrun, Guardian24 will automatically call the user to verify their safety. If the user cannot be reached, either a nominated respondent from Shelter or the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) will be alerted. As this stage, Shelter’s agreed procedure will begin in order to verify the user’s location and safety.
Should the user feel that their safety has been compromised, they can press a designated SOS speed dial key to summon emergency assistance. The service will record live audio and immediately notify the nominated respondent or the ARC where controllers will assess the threat of the current situation and summon the necessary response. Guardian24 will have immediate access to the user’s personal details, activity details and live audio which can be passed on to the respondent receiving the call or the emergency services.
Two-way audio is a key factor in Guardian24’s standard mobile phone solution, allowing ARC Controllers to assess the situation and reassure the Shelter adviser in testing situations.
Shelter now benefit from Guardian24’s protection of their lone workers. With stringent lone working legislation in place, Shelter can feel confident that they are compliant and are helping towards fulfilling their Duty of Care to employees. Shelter’s outreach advisers can also feel confident in the knowledge that they aren’t
alone, even when situations require urgent assistance.
As Shelter is a non-profit organisation, the low-cost standard mobile phone solution utilises existing handsets, enabling adequate lone worker protection yet suiting a reduced budget.
“At Shelter we employ many advisers that regularly work at outreaches and alone. We turned to Guardian24 as we wanted a reliable and trusted brand to maintain the safety of our lone workers covering social welfare, regardless of their location or situation. We were attracted to the fully automated service provision at Guardian24, not to mention the little time wasted between alarm activation and response.”