Friends, clients and colleagues gathered at Church House, Westminster for the ceremony – just four hundred meters from the spot where PC Keith Palmer lost his life in a violent attack the day before.
We were delighted to gather at Church House in Westminster last Thursday and on behalf of my colleagues at Peoplesafe. I would like to say congratulations to the winner of the Personal Safety Champion Award, Sarah Ryan from Danone. A well-deserved and honourable win. Congratulations to the numerous other people who care about safety and were presented with awards too.
I would also like to thank Rachel Griffin and the whole Suzy Lamplugh Trust team for their work in planning the day.
Each year the awards look to celebrate the people who go out of their way to protect others, but the events of the previous day, not far from where we sat, struck everyone present as a shocking and vivid reminder of the dangers that exist in our world.
PC Keith Palmer and three others lost their lives in a terrible attack. As Chief Superintendent John Sutherland says in his vivid blogs the Police go about their job by heading towards the danger, and we respect them all the more for that.
Theresa May and numerous others, including the Mayor, suggested in the wake of the attack that the people who work in London, and elsewhere, should come together, board their trains and continue their daily lives.
Normal is that we do the things that we would regularly do. Fulfil the roles and responsibilities that we have. We all have our responsibilities, to our jobs, our families. Some of us have taken upon ourselves extra responsibilities in our communities and in charitable settings as trustees.
Normal, amongst so many things, is that we understand the risks and threats that exist around us and then take reasonable and sensible precautions to protect ourselves. It seems that we should reassess what normal is for ourselves and our colleagues.
For many of us who work as safety professionals or those who are ‘safety passionate’, then we know that our job is to instil in those around us, be they family, colleagues or neighbours, a sense of ‘safe behaviour’.
In 2016 when speaking at the Suzy Lamplugh Trust 30th anniversary event Mr Paul Lamplugh called it a life-skill. We are want to urge and plead for those groups of people who we can influence a sense that personal safety is a life skill. To be naive, or ignorant or casual serves no one.
When I said a few words at the awards, it made me reflect that sometimes, more often that we like, people do not come home from doing the job. Suzy Lamplugh did not come home. Keith Palmer did not come home.
Due to the extraordinary efforts of many people who were gathered at the National Personal Safety Awards last week, there are people who will be sat at home with the families or friends, and they are there because someone took the time and effort to teach skills. To share a passion for safety.
I want to say to everyone who works in safety and protecting others – your passion for personal safety is vital, and it’s brilliant.