Diz Sollesse Shows The Female Side Of Remembrance Day

Last Wednesday, Diz Sollesse joined former serviceman Nigel Horne to lay wreaths at Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey as part of Corps Security’s commemoration of Remembrance Day.

They placed wreaths both at the obelisk which commemorates the founder of the Corps of Commissionaires Captain Sir Edward Walter, and also on several graves of prominent commissionaires including Lance-Corporal James Hollowell from the 78th Highlanders and Drum Major William Kenny from the Gordon Highlanders. This took place before the national lockdown.

Diz, who acts as the executive assistant to the Corps board, is an honorary Australian Commissionaire, a title which was bestowed in 2018 following her work in re-establishing the links between the Corps of Commissionaires Association in Australia and the UK organisation.

Diz arranges joint events around Armistice Day in the UK, visits to the company cemetery and Walter family ancestral home, charitable endeavours and messages from the Corps President for special occasions. She was invited to attend the ANZAC ceremony in Melbourne in April which was unfortunately cancelled due to the pandemic.

“There’s sometimes a perception that Remembrance Day is male-dominated but this is far from the case,” says Diz. “The armed forces, both in the UK and Australia, have many women within their ranks and of course many current and former servicewomen take part in Remembrance Day. The event itself is always led by our Chief Life Governor, Her Majesty the Queen. I’m proud to wear the Corps of Commissionaires Association Australia insignia.”

Salman Shamim Completes Race to Remember - Corps Security

Congratulations to Salman Shamim, our key accounts director, who yesterday completed the Race to Remember raising almost £2,500 for Combat Stress.

The Race to Remember on Remembrance Sunday was due to take him the 44 miles from Aldershot Garrison, over the South Downs to finish at HMS Victory in Portsmouth. Because of the lockdown, the event was sadly cancelled. Undeterred, Salman mapped out a 16-mile route around his hometown of Leeds and yesterday ran the course three times. The route included a total elevation gain of 4,980ft, which is more than 500ft higher than Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the UK.

“It was a tough run in difficult conditions, but it was such a small thing to do compared to the work Combat Stress does to support veterans affected by mental health issues,” he said. “I celebrated with my family back at home with a Chinese takeaway.”

Salman raised almost £1,500 from personal donations, and Corps Security will add an extra £1,000. His fundraising page remains open for anyone wanting to contribute:  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/salman-dday

Salman had also planned to run the D-Day Ultramarathon in June but it was cancelled due to the pandemic and will now take place in 2021, so keep an eye out for news of his progress.

Corps Security Marks Living Wage Week

Today marks the start of Living Wage Week (9-15th November 2020), the annual celebration of the Living Wage movement. Over the next seven days organisations across the country will take part in online events organised by the Living Wage Foundation to recognise the key role the Living Wage plays in improving people’s lives and boosting productivity within business. At the same time, the Living Wage Foundation will today announce the new Living Wage rates across the UK, which employers have up to six months to introduce.

As a Living Wage employer, Corps firmly believes in paying its people the Living Wage. We are committed to pay all our office staff the Living Wage and to always offer a Living Wage bid alongside every market rate submitted to prospective and current clients. This means the client always has the choice to implement the Living Wage at the point of tender and there is a pathway towards the Living Wage for the provider in place.

Our CEO Mike Bullock also takes a leading role in championing the Living Wage in his role in the Living Wage Foundation’s Recognised Service Provider Leadership Group. The Leadership Group was set up to influence the FM marketplace around the Living Wage Recognition Programme for service providers, advise on overall strategy relating to the Living Wage and service provider recognition and its promotion in the facilities management and outsourcing sectors.

“As an organisation which was set up more than 160 years ago to provide employment for service men returning from the Crimean War, we are committed to always providing the highest standard of pay and support to our people,” says Mike Bullock. “Being a Living Wage employer is incredibly important to us and I am passionate about raising the standard of pay within the security sector. I am delighted to support Living Wage Week and am very much looking forward to attending a number of online events over the next week. Our security officers have served on the front line during this pandemic and they deserve the best rates of pay.”

Corps Security Remembers The Fallen

To mark Remembrance Sunday, Corps Security has laid wreaths at Brookwood Cemetery, where many of our fallen soldiers are buried. Earlier this week, before the national lockdown commenced, former serviceman Nigel Horne and honorary Australian Commissionaire Diz Sollesse, placed wreaths on the granite obelisk which commemorates the life of our founder Captain Sir Edward Walter.

They remembered Sergeant William Kenny from the Gordon Highlanders who was awarded the Victoria Cross and Cross of the Order of St George and mentioned in dispatches for his bravery during the Great War where he served across the Western Front. After being discharged in 1919, he joined the Corps of Commissionaires, working in Bond Street, Berkeley Square and the Park Royal. He was also a member of the VC guard at the internment of the unknown warrior on 11 November 2020.

Nigel and Diz also remembered Lance-Corporal James Hollowell from the 78th Highlanders who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his courage during the Indian Mutiny of 1857. He was described as a crack shot who successfully defended a burning house with nine fellow soldiers while the enemy, who vastly outnumbered the group, fired at them through the windows. He returned to England and joined the Corps of Commissionaires serving outside a gentleman’s outfitters on London’s Oxford Street.

We are proud of our military links and Remembrance Day firmly connects us to our 160-year-old military roots. Although celebrations are more muted this year, they are no less important.

Corps Security Marks Remembrance Day Under Lockdown

Corps Security is proud of its military links and Remembrance Day is an important part of our calendar. It firmly connects Corps Security to our 160-year-old military roots.

But this year’s Remembrance Day, like so much else about 2020, will be different. Instead of taking part in the National Service of Remembrance March Past and laying wreaths at the Cenotaph and other memorials across the UK as in previous years, we will be in another national lockdown.

Instead, Nigel Horne, our regional operations director who joined Corps following nine years of service in The British Army, will be laying wreaths to represent the three main entities of the Corps (UK, Australia and Canada) at our cemetery in Brookwood the day before lockdown starts. He will also visit the military cemeteries for the Allied nations there at the same time.

“Although the commemorations for Remembrance Day will be subdued this year, they are no less important than in previous years,” said Mike Bullock, CEO of Corps Security. “Founded in 1859 to address the employment difficulties faced by ex-servicemen on return from the Crimean War, we still employ a large number of ex-military personnel and Remembrance Day marks a historic link of unity for the team. We will remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”

Horne, who is also champion for Corps’ participation in the Remembrance Day commemorations added: “Having come from a military background, I know first-hand that events like this link us all to our roots and to something bigger than ourselves. This year our teams have been on a different front line, supporting our clients through the pandemic, often working in challenging conditions. Remembrance Day is a reminder that our founding military values of loyalty, integrity and service still prevail today.”

Corps Security Launches ‘Working In The New Normal’ Complimentary Service Reviews

Specialist security services provider Corps Security is offering ‘working in the new normal’ complimentary security service reviews for new and existing customers. The new service implements security services that meet the ever-changing landscape in a way that is commercially viable, without compromising on safety.

Responding to market demands around financial pressures, compliance and future-proofing services, Corps has developed a service review programme that looks at the individual requirements of each business and provides future-fit, tailored recommendations that drive down costs. With buildings that were once occupied by thousands of employees, now only accommodating tens or at the most a few hundred people, or are completely vacant altogether, security provisions need to change to be effective both operationally and from a cost perspective.

Recognising budgets are under pressure in new ways, this review service is free of charge and focuses on providing solutions that are cost-conscious. Corps’ four-step review process evaluates the current spend, reviews the existing security provision, recommends cost-cutting initiatives and mobilises a revised programme in as little as four weeks so cost savings can be realised immediately.

Mike Bullock, CEO, Corps Security said: “We know companies are laden with commercial restraints and concerns about their premises. As a trusted security partner for more than 160 years we are ready to help them implement financially attractive, resilient and agile security measures that don’t compromise on safety.

“At a time when requirements are changing with speed it’s important to have a provider that can navigate the storms with you and be equally agile and adaptable. With our global support network and our extensive heritage, we have the right foundations to provide value and protect our customers’ investments, buildings and people, whatever the weather.”

>> Pandemic Solution – Complimentary Security Service Review

Last Thursday 17th September marked Corps’ second annual Thank Your Security Officer Day as part of the wider Security Officer Appreciation Week.

This day of recognition provided us with the perfect platform to acknowledge and thank the hard work and dedication of all of our security officers, particularly over the past six months.

Last week, our SMT, HR team, contract managers and account managers were out and about up and down the country visiting our sites to give thanks to our officers where it is truly due. Sadly, we couldn’t visit all sites, but the team got around as many as they could and enjoyed a catch up and a cuppa with our frontline staff.

Our visiting teams sent us photos and their wonderful words of appreciation for our officers. We were overwhelmed with positive responses. Our clients also got involved and we received so many fantastic words of praise and compliments for the service our colleagues have delivered. Our client at Eversheds Sutherland even made sure our officers were all rewarded with a gift as a token of their appreciation.

As we transition once again to a work from home strategy following the latest government guidance, our officers will be once again the last people standing in many buildings – closing down facilities, supporting skeleton staff ensuring that they feel safe and protected.

We couldn’t be prouder of our dedicated colleagues and we’d like to take this opportunity once again to say thank you to our frontline workers, the people who keep our buildings and people safe and secure.

Search #thankyoursecurityofficer on Twitter and LinkedIn to read words of sincere thanks from our own teams and our clients for our second annual Corps Thank Your Security Officer Day celebration.

Here are just a few comments:

“Would like to thank all the security team who work at Kindeva Drug Delivery, Loughborough. They are reliable and keep our site safe and secure. I would particularly like to thank the Security Manager for the site, Wes King! He does an amazing job, supports the site in so many ways and supports his own team on site too. We are going through many changes here in Loughborough and times are uncertain, but Wes has continued to drive a great service and helped with a new security project on site. We would be lost without Wes and the team. Thank you all!”

Vicki Loach – UK EHS Manager, Kindeva Drug Delivery

“During the last six months our colleagues on all our sites have continued to deliver the exceptional service that is expected of a Corps Security Officer, and, for some of these colleagues, in the most trying of circumstances. I would like to say thank you to all the Security Officers who work for Corps not only in the South Region but across the whole of the UK.”

Paul Cloke  – Regional Manager – South, Corps Security

“We would like to thank the security team for their excellent work over the past year especially since March when they remained on campus and helped with keeping the campus open for vulnerable students and contractors for essential building works.

And of course, the many other tasks asked of them. We have had nothing but praise for their dedication and work ethic.”

Middlesex University

“Our facilities and security team in Oxford, Dan Preston, Lewis Baker and Peter Merritt have all achieved fantastic results over the last 12 months with successful events and rallies across the UK and Europe alongside our client. During lockdown they assisted the client in delivering equipment as staff worked from home and ensured the smooth set up of making the building Covid secure. Great work team we are all really proud of the fantastic work you are doing.”

Jake Lacey – Contracts Manager, Corps Security

“I wanted to personally thank Arnie, Mo, Paul and Rizwan for all of their continued support and vigilance especially during the last challenging months where activity and behaviour in the office has changed dramatically.

Arnie in particular has seen a great deal of change to his role during the day and has stepped up to the challenge which we are very grateful for. Equally Paul, Mo and Rizwan have continued to adapt and look after our requests outside of the core offices hours. Many thanks to you all too.

You’ll find individual boxes of chocolates for each of you at the front desk.

Keep up the great work!”

Wayne Quigg – Senior Facilities Manager, International Operations, Eversheds Sutherland

 

Corps Security begins pilot scheme which equips officers with speech to text and translation tools to overcome communication issues caused by wearing face masks, and addresses language barriers.

 Forty Corps Security officers across retail sites in Birmingham, Cheltenham and Exeter have access to transcription functionality (audio to text), written text translating capability and verbal conversation translation between two different languages. All services are delivered via mobile application and operate offline eliminating the need for internet connectivity.

Corps has implemented the transcription service to support communication difficulties posed by wearing a face mask. Individuals with hearing impairments can struggle to understand a security officer wearing a face mask as facial expressions and lip reading are severely hindered. This technology integration ensures security officers can effectively deliver critical safety information about Covid-19 and associated social distancing measures, and ensure the information is fully understood. It also ensures staff, clients and members of the public have a tool to help them raise any concerns and ask questions when a face mask can potentially hinder their own verbal communication.

When language barriers arise, the verbal conversation translation function offers an automatic translation of two-way dialogue as each person speaks, so there’s no need to take turns operating a translation tool. The written text translation service offers an alternative stream of communication. It’s helps a security officer understand what a person is trying to communicate, and helps that person feel assured that what they are communicating has been understood accurately.

This new speech to text and translation technology pilot scheme is led by Neil Shanks, National Account Manager, Corps Security. Commenting on the benefits of the scheme, Shanks said: “Language barriers present security officers with challenges and now we also have the added barrier of face masks which hinder communication. This technology integration could be a key differentiator in ensuring Covid-secure safety information is understood and adhered to, and in determining positive outcomes of stressful situations such as a missing child or preventing a suicide attempt.”

Mike Bullock, CEO, Corps Security said: “Integrating this transcription and translation functionality means our officers are in a stronger position to support our customers and members of the public, and it helps us improve the quality of our service. We can ensure important safety information is conveyed at a time where communicating health and safety measures is absolutely paramount.”

 

Today we are celebrating Thank Your Security Officer Day as part of Security Officer Appreciation Week.

Up and down the country, the Corps Security management team has been travelling to client sites to acknowledge and thank the important security staff that keep us, the workplaces and buildings we occupy safe and secure.

Please continue to join us in showing appreciation to your security staff this ‘Thank Your Security Officer Day’ and share your messages via #thankyoursecurityofficer on social media. We have been inundated with wonderful feedback, comments and photos which we are sharing on Twitter and LinkedIn some of which you can find below:

“All of us at Wood Green Hall would like to thank our dedicated security staff who have stood by us during hard times and difficult situations. We want Christian, Marek and Kandza to know that we greatly appreciate them and all their hard work. They’ve become part of the Wood Green Hall
family and we are so grateful to them and for the service they provide. Whether it be rain, storms, snow, wind, heatwaves or emergencies, they’re always there ready to serve. We THANK YOU AND APPRECIATE YOU!”
– Remi Banjo, Accommodation Manager Commercial Services, Wood Green Hall

“I would just like to formally write to acknowledge the excellent work that the security officers provide on behalf of Facilities Services at client sites in Cardiff, Kingswood and Hove. It would be wrong to pick one officer in particular, as they all go above and beyond their duties and are always willing to adapt and carry out whatever task is requested of them. During the recent months and the changes required to comply with Covid-19, every single officer has continued to perform their tasks with professionalism and sensitivity and have been instrumental in creating a safe working environment for our customers.” – Graham Beswick, Senior Contracts Manager, Kier Group

“During the pandemic, Building Manager Chris Webster at Pinnacle, Leeds showed immense capabilities to adapt quickly to the new Covid-19 restrictions and kept the building accessible to both clients and visitors. I thank you Chris for your hard work and dedication and going the extra mile to meet the requirements of the clients. We really appreciate it.” – Shahrukh Kayani, Corps Building Manager, Corps Security

#thankyoursecurityofficer

For the second year running, Corps Security is excited to host ‘Thank Your Security Officer Day’ on Thursday 17th September, to give thanks to its dedicated security team where it is truly due.

The celebration forms part of Security Officer Appreciation Week which is taking place from the 13-19th September. The international week of recognition provides a great opportunity to acknowledge and thank the important security staff that keep us, the workplaces and buildings we occupy safe and secure.

Working in partnership with a range of clients, the management team at Corps Security will be visiting sites this week to thank their security colleagues in person as well as sharing stories across several social media platforms to acknowledge those who go above and beyond, delivering an unprecedented level of service.

“The past six months have been particularly challenging, as our security colleagues have been on the front-line of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Government’s decision to classify SIA licence-holding security professionals as critical workers has meant that in a number of cases they were the last people standing in many buildings – closing down facilities, supporting skeleton staff, getting premises ready for reopening and generally supporting people as they navigate the new workplace normal,” comments Paul Lotter, Managing Director for Corps Security. “This is an opportunity for us to recognise their dedication and thank them for their service.”

#thankyoursecurityofficer