Each year, the Trust engages with thousands of children through their education and community teams, providing opportunities to enjoy and connect with wildlife every year. Amongst their work, they organise training workshops and advise land owners on how to manage land for wildlife. These tasks often take them to far and wide locations, interacting with a range of people, often alone. Most of the time, they conduct their work without incident, however, on some occasions, staff have been known to have been threatened and faced intimidation.
Back as far as 2009, Su Jenkins, Human Resources Manager for The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire had identified that employees out in remote locations faced an increased risk to their safety and wellbeing. Lone workers are exposed to a wide range of dangers including verbal and physical confrontation, sudden illness or accidents. As a responsible employer, Su was entrusted to look for a personal safety device which enabled staff to call for help quickly, easily and discreetly in any emergency.
At this time, Skyguard had already been working with Police forces across the UK protecting domestic violence victims, kidnap targets and those in witness protection programmes. Skyguard’s reputation was steadily growing as a personal safety service that could be entrusted with the safeguarding society’s most vulnerable adults. With this proven endorsement, other organisations and industries began looking at Skyguard to help fulfil a moral and legal Duty of Care to protect their staff. By issuing small, palm-sized personal safety alarms, help is never far away. With the press of one button, the user’s details are transmitted via mobile phone technology to Skyguard’s Incident Management Centre – a 24 hour manned, UK based control room where trained Controllers deal exclusively with Skyguard user’s alarms. With two-way audio communications and GPS tracking, they can summon the right response, fast!
Upon successfully-trialling the devices to ensure they worked in remote locations, The Trust signed up to Skyguard… and have been a customer ever since. Su explains why, “We employ staff who travel a lot and work on nature reserves in a range of rural and urban settings. They interact with the public who use those reserves and whilst the vast majority of these meetings are very positive, some can be difficult. The units give the staff confidence to go to work, knowing that if something does happen they can get support.”
The Trust was also impressed that the service allows for ‘multiple pooling’ of staff members per device. Users can be re-assigned to each personal safety device via the online Customer Service Centre. Changes are made in real-time using a simple drag and drop interface. All 47 Wildlife Trusts regularly meet to discuss ideas and since Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust have been using Skyguard, Su has recommended rolling out the devices across the whole of the UK. “Since using Skyguard, I have recommended them to other Wildlife Trusts and conservation organisations because of the service and the suitability of the unit.”Roll on to 2014 and Trusts up and down the country are using Skyguard to protect their lone workers. Su summarises, “We’re staying with Skyguard, because they are so easy to work with.”