Macmillan Cancer Support

The Company

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 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 as well as interacting with relatives and providing a befriending service.

Initially, a small-scale local buddy system was used to track lone workers. However, 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.

“Buddy schemes aren’t as reliable as we’d like. 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 wellbeing of volunteers in the community.”
Chris Badman

The Solution

Macmillan was quite specific in what they were looking for in a provider. Peoplesafe 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 rolling it out across the organisation.

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

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

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

The Benefits

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

“Peoplesafe 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 Peoplesafe and at the ARC have been professional and reassuring as we have implemented the service.

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