Macmillan Cancer Support

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Case Studies

Macmillan CancerGuardian24 Protects Macmillan’s Lone Workers

Macmillan Cancer Support is a charity that aims to reach and improve the lives of everyone affected by cancer across the UK and to inspire millions of others to do the same. Their valued volunteers play a vital role in helping them to reach this goal, to ensure that no one faces cancer alone.

The Challenge

Macmillan wouldn’t be able to achieve what they do without the support of thousands of volunteers. They help in a variety of ways, but roles in services are growing rapidly. Their volunteers provide a much valued service to people affected by cancer, providing practical and emotional support in local communities. Their role can often include periods of lone working including spending significant time in the homes of people affected by cancer, interacting with relatives, and providing a befriending service.

Initially, a small scale local buddy system was used to track lone workers during the pilot of the new schemes but this was difficult to manage and was no longer suitable for the growing volunteer base. Macmillan needed a central and consistent way of ensuring the safety of their lone workers regardless of where they were and what time of the day it was.

Our aim is to grow our volunteer base from around 70 volunteers supporting people in their own homes to 2000 by 2016. Buddy schemes aren’t as reliable as we’d like and we needed something more robust in place to cover our Duty of Care as an organisation and to allow our paid staff to do their main job without worrying about the well-being of volunteers in the community.

Chris Badman, Macmillan Cancer Support


The Solution

Macmillan was quite specific in what they were looking for in a provider. However, Guardian24 ticked all the boxes. The solution needed to be easy to use for volunteers of all ages and different technical abilities. It also needed to be a cost effective solution. They required the ability to start off with a small project with a view to then roll it out across the organisation with training.

Macmillan opted to protect their volunteers who work alone with Guardian24’s lone worker solution via the volunteers’ mobile phones. The solution allows the user to log into the system prior to each location visit giving details of the address, who they are going to meet and the expected duration. If their activity overruns, Guardian24 will automatically call the worker to verify their safety.

If the worker cannot be reached, Guardian24’s Alarm Receiving Centre will put into action an agreed protocol to be followed to verify the user’s safety and location.

Should the lone worker feel that their safety has been compromised, they can press a pre-assigned button on their phone which will raise an immediate panic alert, even if they have not logged a lone worker activity.

Macmillan uses Guardian24’s Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) as the most cost effective and efficient option to fully manage the lone worker process. With the volume of lone working volunteers increasing, paid staff are free from constantly checking where volunteers are, secure in the knowledge that if there is a problem they will be notified. This saves time, energy and resources.

The Benefits

Guardian24 provides reassurance for Macmillan that its staff and volunteers have a high level of personal safety when working in the community. The system enhances the confidence of the volunteers as they feel safe knowing that Macmillan value their personal safety and that it is taken care of.

Guardian24 have been responsive and flexible to our needs in setting up and supporting the lone working system for our volunteers. All of the staff at G24 and at the ARC have been professional and reassuring as we have implemented the service. We continue to remain happy with the service provided to protect the valued volunteers of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Chris Badman, Macmillan Cancer Support


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