Inspiration from Blackpool Pleasure Beach to utilise Automation in the Security Industry

3 minutes reading time

There is an increased pressure across all industries to reduce ongoing costs.  At FGH Security this is no different; rising wages, increased litigation and ongoing commercial pressure from our customers are forcing us to look at alternative methods of securing premises and keeping people safe.  In Japan they are already using robot security guards to patrol vacant buildings and the question has been asked about what parts of the FGH Security portfolio can be automated.

At the start of the year our senior team spent some time scanning the horizon of what security could look like in 100 years from now.  How will festivals be secured as we rise to the digital age?

It was during a recent visit to Blackpool Please Beach, that Lewis Walsh, Security Manager at FGH Security has his Eureka moment, “I am hooked on grabber machines.  A bit of a dab hand if I do say so myself; on a good day give me £1 and I can grab three teddies all in one go.”.

Peter Harrison, Managing Director, commented, “One of the biggest concern for us at large live music shows is flares in the audience.  Not the type your mum wore in the 70’s either; we are talking about pyrotechnic flares.  We have a robust procedure in place at entry points, and often use sniffer dogs and very large search teams.  We confiscate a lot coming in at the gates.  But just like at many football grounds, despite our very best effort they occasionally get in”.

Lewis added, “Flares are very dangerous due to the heat produced and obviously present a problem.  This problem is dangerous for our team to deal with.  The temperature of a live flare is very high.  It takes a lot of our team to tackle the offender and generally results in an ejection from the event and sometimes an arrest from our partners in the constabulary.  Our new solution will tackle this problem safely and effectively”.

Dave Hassall, Head of R&D at FGH states, “The ‘DG5000dc’ stands for ‘Delinquent Grabber 5000 degrees centigrade’.  We have partnered with a Chinese crane producer, and essentially our solution will attach to the front of a main stage.  It is currently operated by remote control, but over time we hope to automate this, and the system will work with heat sensors.  During tests we have been able to extract delinquents, alongside their flares, from a large audience within 6 seconds.”

We hope to have the system live to use at Kendal Calling during 2018.  Jon Drape, Managing Director of Ground Control, commented, “It’s great to see FGH leading the way developing new technology to deal with the current threat of flares. They are a significant issue on some shows and have been difficult to deal with. I’m looking forward to seeing the DG5000 in the field.”.

FGH Security hopes to be able to offer the service to other industries also and are looking for a premiership football club who would be interested in trialling the solution.

Could you be our next DG5000dc operator? We’d love to hear from you…

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Dave Taylor and Ben Knott win Police Divisional Commendations

David Taylor (HR and Quality Manager) and Ben Knott (Senior Operations Manager) have been awarded Divisional Commendations from Lancashire Police in recognition of their work on the Home Safe and Safe Space initiatives, which were praised by Chief Inspector Ian Cooper when they were introduced.

The awards evening held last night at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool recognised outstanding achievements and acts of bravery from individual officers and teams from across the division and it was the first time a security company had ever been formally recognised at the awards. Alongside Dave and Ben Commendations were also awarded to other members of Lancaster’s Pub Watch scheme (Tim Tomlinson, Sally Kay, Mark Cutter and Heather Crawshaw) and PC Andy Taylor who helped implement the initiative. Amongst the Police Officers who won awards there were also a number of former FGH team members who have gone on to work for the Constabulary.

CancerCare Therapy Room Donation

3 MINUTES READING TIME

We always see Christmas as a time to give something back. CancerCare is a charity that supports people in the North Lancashire and South Lakeland areas, at times in their life when they need it most and have been affected by Cancer. We have had the privilege of being able to offer a little something to the charity every year since 2010. On Monday this week we delivered a cheque for £450 and a range of children’s toys and musical instruments to compliment the new Children’s therapy room.

Pictured left to right are: Alison Dixey (Head of Client Services & Development, CancerCare), Lewis Walsh (Security Manager, FGH Security), Neil Townsend (Chief Executive, CancerCare), Olivia Cobb (Operations Supervisor, FGH Security)

Pictured left to right are: Alison Dixey (Head of Client Services & Development, CancerCare), Lewis Walsh (Security Manager, FGH Security), Neil Townsend (Chief Executive, CancerCare), Olivia Cobb (Operations Supervisor, FGH Security).

Peter Harrison, FGH Managing Director, would like to extend a thank you to our front line team who volunteered their time at recent CancerCare events; this is what enables us to make the donation. Alison commented, “Many of the children have been requesting musical instruments for a while. These are a fantastic addition to our therapy room. Thank you so much for all your continued support”. Olivia commented “I have heard a lot about FGH’s work that they do outside of the traditional security environment. So on Monday it was great to meet some of the team at CancerCare and understand the small part we play in the fantastic work they carry out. Working at Santa Dash was great, and it was good to hear we had a record number of Dashers taking part in 2017!”.

Earlier in 2017 CancerCare opened up a new centre in Barrow-in-Furness. The centre has seen its’ work double in the past six months alone and in October they gave 80 treatments out to those in need. Established and helping local families since 1983, they now have centres in Lancaster, Kendal and Barrow-in-Furness. In 2016, 1 in 3 people effected by Cancer utilised the services at CancerCare, that are all free of charge to those who need them.

For more information on exactly what CancerCare do, or if anyone would like to make additional Christmas donations please visit: CancerCare.ork.uk

Dunham Massey Hall Winter Wonderland

1 MINUTE READING TIME

Owned by the National Trust, Dunham Massey Hall, fondly known simply as Dunham Massey by the locals, is an English country house in Trafford. The Estate is open to the public throughout the year, but this festive season it is transforming a mile-long path through its historic woodlands into a Winter Wonderland trail. The path is broken up by a series of larger Christmas light installations and feature points throughout the walk. The event is running throughout December and 57,000 tickets have already been sold. FGH are working alongside the Estate and the organisers (Raymond Gubbay) to supply a friendly, warm and welcoming team who are on hand not only to guide and help, but also make the experience as rich as possible for all the families visiting.

We have been inundated with positive feedback. Suzee Lewis, who visited the event, wrote, ‘May I compliment and congratulate the company on such well mannered, helpful and lovely staff! The security staff couldn’t do enough to help myself and my partner with one of the ladies chatting to us and walked us along a bit of a deserted part of the route! Wonderful people and certainly made the event all the more enjoyable…Id like to thank each and every one of them and say keep up the good work!! Merry Christmas to all.’ We also received an email praising the staff, ‘Your staff have been spot on at Dunham this weekend. They’ve been really customer friendly and responsive to any issues that have arisen.’

Amy Stanley, Operations Manager, said, “Despite the challenging winter weather it has been fantastic to see the team still smiling and helping as much as they can. The visitor and client feedback has been exceptional and just goes to show how well the team are doing.”

The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall working with us

1 MINUTES READING TIME

Liverpool Philharmonic Hall is synonymous with music and culture in the city and is recognised across the world. The Hall is on Hope Street, in the heart of the city, and sees tens of thousands of people from all around the world walk through its doors each year. Performances include renowned singers and artists. The Hall is also the base of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Founded in 1840 it is the UK’s oldest continuing professional symphony orchestra. They chose FGH Security because they, ‘Wanted to enhance our customer’s confidence that their visit to the Hall would be a safe and enjoyable experience,’ according to Millicent Jones (Executive Director-Audiences and Development). She went on to say, ‘FGH were very conscientious in their approach to working with us, getting the details right first-time round. They were eager to understand the needs of our business and customers, and the way we operate each event, working with our stewarding team. They’ve been a pleasure to work with so far and we’ve received positive comments from both staff and customers on their work.’

Liverpool Ice Festival

2 MINUTES READING TIME

With a 30m Ferris wheel currently dominating the Liverpool Pier Head it’s obvious that the Liverpool Ice Festival is well underway. The Festival is supported by Liverpool City Council and One Magic City Liverpool and is taking place over the festive period from 17th November until the 7th January. Billed as a winter wonderland, the purpose-built village features a range of attractions; from the UK’s largest ice slide through to the spectacular ice rink and ice bar. Increasing in size and popularity each year the Ice Festival has something for everyone and is a great day out.

With the wide range of entertainment and attractions on offer and the broad spectrum of people visiting the festival each day we have put in place a dedicated team of staff geared towards customer service and welfare. We have worked with the client to put the perfect solution in place, from customised uniform through to a dedicated supervision team, and as our first week on site draws to a close the feedback from the customers has been exceptional.

Peter Harrison (Managing Director) said, “The Ice Festival is a fantastic event which welcomes tens of thousands of people each week and it’s great to see that we’re playing our part to ensure that every person has a fantastic and safe time. The Festival also highlights our growth in Liverpool as more event organisers and live music venues become aware of the positive impact that our service can have on their customers. They can really see the difference we make.”

FGH Rugby Season Roundup

5 MINUTES READING TIME

2. Take a long term view and act sustainably

June is upon us and with it the end of the university Rugby Season.  As part of our ongoing Corporate Social Responsibility work we sponsor and support three university sports teams; University of Salford Mens Rugby Union, Lancaster Mens Rugby Union and Manchester Metropolitan University Mens Rugby Union. This year it’s safe to say that great games have been played, blood spilled, beer drunk, sweat, er, sweated and glory and infamy have walked hand in hand, separated only by the width of a post or a try line.  Now is the time to recap the highs and the lows of the season gone.
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Salford have boldly stayed exactly where they are after a solid season.  They inflicted defeats on the minnows of their league, Lancaster 3rd Team and a weak UCLan side, but were unable to prevail against strong outfits from Liverpool 3rd Team and MMU 3rd Team.  The highlight of their league season was inflicting a home defeat on a strong Lancaster 2nd team despite a referee who both sides agreed, made one or two questionable calls in favour of the Lancaster side.  They also made a decent fist of the cup, defeating an in form Keele side before being evicted from the premises by Lancaster 2nd Team.

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They also put in an exceptionally strong effort in their FGH Cup games this season.

The last challenge of the season was the epic varsity clash with Chester.  The final score of the match being Rugby Teams 0 – The Weather 1.  At least it provided a good training experience for the festival season for many FGH employees.  Next season the Salford boys will be looking to challenge for promotion and, of course, inflicting some savage defeats on their FGH rivals, Lancaster and MMU.

 

 

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For Lancaster 1st and 2nd teams it was a season of strong effort and vast opportunity, but chances not taken.  The first team had been promoted last season into the Northern 1A Division, which was a huge step up in class.  Their goal was to avoid immediate relegation and build for the future.  Unfortunately, the season ended with a run of close defeats and they were relegated despite some impressive efforts.

The Lancaster 2nd team bounced back from the early season Salford defeat described above to finish third in their league, tying on points and bonus points with second placed MMU, including defeating Salford in the return fixture and the cup.  The will be looking for a powerful promotion challenge next season.

Lancaster 3rd Team had won promotion last year to the same division as the 2nd Team which made for a couple of very interesting Lancaster Vs Lancaster games.

Their pre-season goal was not to be relegated, which they achieved by a steep developmental curve over the season resulting in outclassing UCLan and sending them into the relegation zone instead.

In the annual Roses tournament against York University almost saw a red wash with wins for the 3rds and 2nds but the 1st narrowly losing.

Chris Taylor
All in all the team have gone from strength to strength this year which culminated in Chris Taylor (left, above)  making the U20 England Counties Squad (and a cheeky-penalty-kick-which-turned-into-a-try video which went viral).

They also closed out the year with a fantastic Summer Rugby Festival which saw cameo appearances from the FGH management (David Hassall and James Mawdsley) and one of the Lancaster teams winning the 7s tournament, beating the favorites in the process.

Lancaster Rugby Festival

 

 

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The crowning achievement of the MMU 1st Team season was their ferocious defeat of the University of Manchester in their varsity match.  Coming away from the bruising encounter 10-5 to the good, MMU claimed the glory for the first time in 14 years.

They also enjoyed 7s success, being the runners up in the BUCS 7s tournament.  The hard work of their season was borne out by several players being selected for the England Students and England Student 7s teams.

Connor Wilkinson was also selected to represent England in the U20 Counties Squad (3rd from left, front row).

chris and connor

MMU also won the cup, destroying Liverpool 1st Team in the final, although they finished 2nd in the league to Liverpool and narrowly missed out on the promotion they will certainly be targeting next season.

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MMU 3rd Team also managed a strong showing in the league, finishing second above Lancaster 2nd and Salford University. In addition to this Jack Wilson made a start for Sale Jets which shows the standard the team are currently playing to.

What’s Next for FGH teams?

Moving forward into next year we are looking forward to continuing our partnerships with our rugby union teams and we are currently in talks with Lancaster and Salford Rugby League teams. If you play for one of these teams and would like the opportunity to work for FGH Security please click here. If you are part of the exec of a university society who would like to be sponsored by us we’d love to hear from you so please click here.

AXM working with FGH Security

 

3 MINUTES READING TIME

Belief 1 : Quality people in quality placesIMG_4387

FGH has been a regular feature in Manchester for some time now and have become recognised faces in The Village in Manchester due to our provision of security services for Manchester Pride’s Big Weekend. Over the next week we are set to become an even more permenant fixture in The Village as we take over the contract to supply Door Supervisors to one of Manchester’s most popular nightclubs, AXM Manchester. AXM Manchester is part of the AXM group which includes AXM Glasgow, Malta and Prague and has been for some time one of the key players in Manchester’s world famous gay scene.

Ben Hibbert (Group Operations Manager) was led to start talks with FGH having been impressed with what he had seen of our personable and accommodating staff over the pride weekends but also by witnessing our exceptional customer service in venues such as The Albert Hall and Gorilla and saw the opportunity to create a partnership with a security company that is flexible enough to mirror and enhance the branding of their business.

Manchester has been from FGH a key growth area with the Door Supervision element of the business experiencing real and unparalleled growth. For Ben Knott, Senior FGH Manager in charge of overseeing the operations of Doors and Events this trend is very gratifying to see, ‘in fact’ says Ben ‘ we regularly get offers of new venues across the North West. FGH’s quality speaks for itself, the challenge for us is getting the right venues that share our commitment to quality. In AXM we have found a partnership which is a good cultural fit with FGH’s core beliefs in friendship, pride, integrity and team work. In AXM we believe we have formed the foundations of what will be a long and productive business partnership and we are delighted to have FGH faces in The Village not only for the Pride Event but now all year round.’

FGH are always looking for talented and versatile Door Supervisors, if you interested in flexible employers for one the best employers in the Security Industry then we would like to hear from you. You can apply by going here.

Sound City 2017

3 MINUTES READING TIME

Belief 5 : Our business relationships are partnerships

Liverpool really is a sound city and this weekend the city that gave us The Beatles, Echo and the Bunnymen and Frankie goes to Hollywood (to name but a few) played host to a diverse selection of bands and musical genres. Sound City marks the start of the British Festivals but is surely on of the most iconic of them all with bands playing on the banks of the river Mersey and with the iconic Liverpool skyline in the distance.The atmosphere at this year’s event was even more celebratory as this year the sound city festival turned 10 years old and had to move to a more spacious site at Clarence Docks to meet the demand for tickets.

FGH’s deployment to Sound City was a return appearance after a successful initial outing in 2016 and built on the strong foundations of the previous year to supply a range of between 70- 100 Events Operatives on a daily basis, over 4 days and over a range of duties including front of stage management, asset protection, response and crowd management. This year the event played host to the likes of The Human League, The Kooks , White Lies and John Cale and guests present The Velvet Underground and with audiences reaching 12,000. Mark Gateson, Sound City management, said, ‘I want to say a massive thanks to all the team deployed at LSC.  For reasons we are all aware of this was a particularly tough weekend to have to put on such an event and your team were exemplary at every level.’

Amy Stanley, Operations Supervisor who oversaw the deployment said, ‘This was our second year providing to Soundcity and managing the event was a fantastic experience. Our staff on the ground were upholding our company values through blazing heat, torrential rain and dust storms. But as always every member of the FGH team performed outstandingly, creating a safe and enjoyable environment for customers, our client and all of the performers from the event. I’m excited to work the next event already with my truly world class team!’

David Hassall, FGH Senior Manager and proud Liverpudlian, was delighted to be back in his home city this weekend and even more delighted at the performance of the frontline members of staff. ‘This weekend our priority was to help put on a safe and successful event and help the ladies and gents of Liverpool enjoy themselves. It was really gratifying to see that despite the blistering heat all our guys had smiles on their faces and were providing some exemplary customer service. The unexpected 30 plus degree heat did provide us with some challenges but ensuring that staff were topped up with plenty of ice cream and sun cream meant that we were able to keep out staff safe from the sun and their morale high.’

FGH’s events team has been recognised as one of the best the the industry. If you are interested in becoming part of our success story and would like to join our team you can apply in less than 5 minutes online by following this link.

Manchester Pride Spring Benefit 2017

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3 MINUTES READING TIME

Belief 9 : Find new ways of giving back to society

IMG_4315On Thursday 18th May FGH was delighted to be providing the security services yet again to the Manchester Pride Spring Benefit. The black tie event, a highlight Manchester’s social calendar, was held in the iconic Midland hotel in Manchester. This formed a suitably glamourous backdrop to a night of entertainment headlined by Liberty X but also networking and fundraising, and was attended by the famous and fabulous alike; stars in attendance included Coronation Street favourites and Manchester’s first openly gay Mayor.

The event required a team of experienced Door Supervisors, all of whom having been upskilled with customer service training, equality and diversty training and gender fluidity awareness to ensure they were a perfect fit for the event. The event itself was formed to support the work of the Manchester Pride fund who in turn support a range of LGBT causes and initiatives both within Greater Manchester but also globally. This year an auction held at the event raised over £10,000 alone and will reinforce the funds raised by the universally popular Manchester Pride Weekend over the August Bank Holiday.

FGH has worked in conjunction with the organisors behind Manchester Pride for 5 years now and some key members of the FGH Management team were in attendance on the night, soaking up the gala atmosphere and lending their support to this fantastic cause. Peter Harrison, FGH Managing director was delighted to grab a photo opportunity with Daniel Brocklebank (who plays Billy Mahew in Coronation Street and is an active member of Manchester’s LGBT community). ‘ It’s great to see people like Daniel letting their hair down and enjoying a night, all in support of such a great cause. It’s important that the LGBT community are able to enjoy themselves and celebrate but also feel safe and secure. In fact the Manchester Pride Benefit, Manchester Pride Weekend and The Manchester Pride Fund have key commonalities with FGH’s ethos, both have charity at their core as such we were delighted to provide the security to the event to the help the organisors of pride maximise the amount of money they raises for good causes to help those most in need’.

Last year FGH donated over £10,000 alone to good causes and is proud to be focused on corporate social responsibility and creating a lasting and sustainable company that has a positive legacy.