Women's Aid in Northern Ireland

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Case Studies

Womens AidWomen’s Aid work with women and children who are living with the effects of domestic abuse. They provide a number of services including refuge and floating support services.

The Challenge

Women’s Aid Ballymena has around 15 employees who work alone. There are significant risks presented to these staff members, particularly those working within the Floating Support service. This service requires staff to visit clients in their own homes whilst working alone.

 

In the past there have been incidents where the perpetrator of the abuse has arrived at the house whilst the support worker was present.

Gail McLaughlin; Floating Support and Community Resettlement Manager

 

Staff are working in volatile environments and are exposed to potential violence, physical abuse and verbal abuse. The Ballymena branch decided they needed extra support to ensure the safety of their support workers at all times.  Having reviewed some options, Women’s Aid Ballymena decided to work with Guardian24. They have now worked with Guardian24 for over three years, using the service on their standard mobile phones.

The Solution

The Guardian24 Lone Worker Personal Security service can be used via a standard mobile phone, smartphone or specialist Lone Worker Device.  The service was quick and easy to implement. Support workers can log in and out of daily tasks, leaving details of their location and the expected duration. If their activity over runs Guardian24 will automatically call the support worker to verify their safety. If the support worker cannot be reached a nominated respondent or Alarm Receiving Centre will be notified informing them of the overrun activity.

At this stage an agreed protocol will be followed to verify the user’s safety and location.  Should a support worker feel that their safety has been compromised they can press a dedicated button on a standard mobile phone to summon emergency assistance. The service will then record live audio and immediately notify a nominated respondent or Alarm Receiving Centre, enabling them to assess the seriousness of the threat and the level of response necessary.

Guardian24 provides the user’s personal details, activity details and live audio to the respondent receiving the escalated call. This information is invaluable if emergency services need to be notified.  Using the Guardian24 service through a standard mobile phone provides Women’s Aid with a robust, easy to use personal security service for their support workers without the cost of purchasing additional devices.

 

In the past the branch used a buddy system where our support workers rang into the office with details of the address they were visiting. This system however was not ideal as there was always the risk of human error, e.g. the staff member who took the call becoming preoccupied with other areas of their work and forgetting to ring the support worker back to enquire if they had ended their visit safely. Guardian24 has resolved this issue through their efficient automated service. Guardian24 has given our users a greater sense of safety and well being whilst being able to carry out their essential duties.

Gail McLaughlin; Floating Support and Community Resettlement Manager

 

The Benefits

Women’s Aid has found Guardian24 to be an invaluable service to help to protect and support their staff whilst working alone, visiting clients in the community.

Gail McLauglin; the Floating Support and Community Resettlement Manager now has peace of mind that staff have the extra support they need to perform their jobs efficiently and safely.

The online access which monitors usage is very helpful to ensure our staff are complying with our Lone Worker Policy and Procedures. Using Guardian24 has also helped us provide evidence to funders that we as an organisation are using all mechanisms available to keep our workforce as safe as possible at all times.

Gail McLaughlin; Floating Support and Community Resettlement Manager

 

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