Respond Housing Association is an approved housing body with housing schemes country wide in Ireland. They were founded in Waterford in the early 1980s. Respond aim to provide vibrant, comfortable, and happy communities for people and provide 24/7 service to their residents such as maintenance, childcare and family support alongside education.
Respond put their residents at the core of their business and listen carefully to their needs. They have a dynamic team of workers including dedicated resident support workers who visit the residents on a regular basis and address any issues they may have. As a result, they often work and commute to different locations alone. They regularly find themselves dealing with vulnerable people which can potentially lead to some difficult situations.
There’s a distressing number of lone worker incidents that occur in the UK and Ireland each year. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that Respond felt the need to invest in a reliable lone worker protection service. They wanted to ensure that their staff are safe and able to seek immediate emergency help when working alone. As stated by Kevin Burke, Spokesperson for Respond Housing Association, “after weighing up our options, a combination of the service, equipment, back-up and price” led to them choosing Peoplesafe for lone worker protection.
Respond decided to utilise Peoplesafe’s MicroGuard and mobile safety app – certified to BS 8484:2022. In an emergency, they simply press the SOS button which sends an alarm to our 24-hour Alarm Receiving Centre. Here, Alarm Controllers can view their location through GPS, listen in, communicate with the user, and if needed, send for emergency assistance.
The smartphone application was chosen as a secondary lone worker solution by Respond. It has the benefit of not only being discreet but also eliminates the need to carry an additional device. The smartphone application is available to download on Android and iPhone devices.
Kevin Burke added, “the devices are neat and easy to use. The coverage is good and reaches down to 2G. The use of multiple telecom providers is very important as it allows many of our workers to use the app with ease”.
With Peoplesafe’s service in place, Respond’s staff can go to work feeling safe, reassured, and confident that they can call for immediate help with just a click of a button.
On one occasion, as recalled by Kevin Burke, “two members of Respond’s staff had arranged a meeting with a known troubled tenant. They became aggressive and brandished a weapon towards one whilst head-butting the other”. This kind of incident reinforces the importance of having a secure lone worker protection service in place such as Peoplesafe.