- Due to the opening of a new Mother and Baby Unit for pregnant and vulnerable asylum-seekers, Mears asked us to provide appropriate security for their residents
- We provided an all-female security team with paediatric qualifications enabling them to act as the first point of contact in the event of a medical emergency
- Our guards continue to provide an excellent service, building trust and communication with the residents and help to shape improvements through regular feedback with Mears
Our Team – Carrie Fordham
Meeting Our Customers’ Needs
We first began working with Mears over 25 years ago, providing a range of services including re-let works, environmental clearance, communal and garden works and security guarding services. In 2021, Mears opened a bespoke Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) for pregnant and vulnerable asylum-seeking women in Glasgow, which was the first unit of its type to operate in Glasgow.
We were asked to provide female security guards during evenings and weekends when Mears staff were no longer onsite, as the safety of these vulnerable women was an absolute priority. Our guards were specifically required to hold a first aid certificate that covers paediatrics, as they would serve as the main point of contact in the case of a medical emergency and would be required to call the relevant medical professionals and provide first aid until they arrived.
Providing Real Solutions
We provided Mears with an all-female security team from 8pm to 8am each evening and all day on weekends and public holidays. Our guards were also selected based on their personalities, as it was important that they could communicate effectively with residents who often struggled with English and were highly vulnerable due to pregnancy or having just given birth.
Within the first 2 weeks, we identified that it would be more beneficial to residents if our guards shift patterns changed to 6pm to 6am as Mears staff were usually unavailable around this time. This allowed for a proper handover between the Mears team and our guards, ensuring that we could discuss any issues that may have occurred throughout the day that they should be aware of. Our team ensured that all incidents were detailed and logged each day to provide supporting information for other staff that may not have been involved in the de-brief.
Results That Matter
We provided Mears with two regular guards, and a pool of back-up guards to cover sickness or holiday. This helped to provide these women with a regular, friendly face to help ease their minds and build trust and communication. One of our guards is originally from North Africa, now living and working in the UK, and has several language skills which really helped to make the women feel that she is approachable and available to help when needed.
Mears have high praise for our guards and can confidently leave them in charge of the unit during their absence. To improve the support we offer, Mears regularly listen to feedback from our guards and have since adopted a number of suggestions.
We understand that our services are just part of the task. It is through positive communication and the building of relationships with our clients and their customers, that we can turn a good service into a great service.
Mears is committed to ensuring that asylum accommodation is safe, habitable and fit for purpose and will meet all contractual and regulatory standards. Moreover, Mears understands the importance of supporting each person whilst living in its accommodation and to ensure that as a company it works with the communities in which it delivers services. Find out more at – www.mearsgroup.co.uk
“Both Guards within the unit have continued to provide support for the families living here, they have developed good relationships not only with the SU’s but also with Mears staff. We feel completely at ease when we are not on-site knowing that the guards are here to support our families.”
Leanne Archibald – DA Team Manager, Mears Housing
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