In 2023, our business has grown. We’ve celebrated our successes with award wins, worked to change the sector’s approach towards mental health, raised money for multiple initiatives, and continued to champion our promise to deliver security excellence with a social mission. As the year draws to a close, we’re taking a moment to thank our colleagues and to reflect on our achievements, not just in terms of our business, but as a social enterprise that values the incredible work of our colleagues.
Our big wins
All our colleagues deserve praise for their work, and award wins this year paid many their dues. At the Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs) in March, we won the Outstanding Security Training Initiative Award alongside our partners MoonHub, for our virtual reality technology that replicates site-specific programmes for trainees.
In April, our executive director Mike Bluestone was the first ever recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Security Institute. Mike received the award for his long-standing commitment to the industry, his in-depth knowledge of security, along with the qualities of positivity, calmness, and integrity that he exudes. Our ED&I initiative, Corps Together, was also crowned winner at the ceremony that night for the support network and the safe space it has created for colleagues.
Our colleague Danny Varao, who manages security for our law firm customer Bird & Bird, won the regional award for Security Manager of the Year at the 2023 British Security Industry Association (BSIA) Awards. His foresight and ambition at the role made him a worthy winner.
We were also winners at the BSIA’s flagship awards, the British Security Awards, in June. We won the Business of the Year Award – the judging panel was impressed with our multi-faceted in-person and technological service solutions.
Last but not least, this month Corps Together took home the Inclusion and Diversity Champion Award at the Security & Fire Excellence Awards. The win was for Corps’ celebration of our many different voices, who all deserve to be heard.
With more award nominations than ever in 2023, seeing these successes celebrated by such highly regarded institutions is an honour and we can’t wait to see what industry nominations and wins come next year.
Supporting veterans and security professionals’ mental health
In May this year, we launched our mental health mission, to battle the mental stigma surrounding those in the security industry, many of whom are veterans.
At our first event, key speaker Professor Mark Button discussed how 40% of officers show signs of PTSD. We pledged four key commitments on that day, which other firms can commit themselves to, and you can watch the full event here. Since then, we’ve accelerated this mission with our second event on mental health day, October 10th – which involved more industry mental health experts, and can be read about here.
Our Corps Veterans Association, launched last year, had an official Standard Dedication Ceremony in May. Its presence helps maintain our organisation’s strong ties with veterans.
We’ve also helped raise funds for the cause. Our April fundraiser Tour De Corps saw team members battle the weather by cycling 750 miles from Glasgow, across all mainland Corps Security offices, finishing at the London HQ. Together, the they raised an £11,000 donation to charity Combat Stress.
In June, contract manager Shane Morton helped raise money for Combat Stress and the Army Benevolent Fund, where he cuffed a 3kg Medicine Ball to his wrist for 7 days. It paralleled the physical, visual and tangible burden of mental health many experience.
In September, director of Corps Security Solutions Salman Shamim battled 35-degree weather on the UNESCO Saharan Ultra Challenge and covered the stretch of two marathons. In total, he raised £2,604 for Combat Stress.
We’ve also been involved in wider armed forces support initiatives. On the 24th of June, Corps took part in the SSAFA’s annual 13 Bridges Challenge, where over 680 walkers from multiple organisations walked 10 miles, across 13 of London’s Bridges where the overall effort raised £83,000 for the charity.
Our commitment to breaking the mental health stigma within our organisation and throughout the security sector are central parts of our mission as a social enterprise; to provide security with social value. We look forward to expanding this mission in 2024.
Our ESG developments
Our dedication to becoming a net zero organisation by 2050 grew to new heights this year, with our initiatives detailed here. Our 2023 ESG report was also released in July, and further detailing the work we do.
One major environmental win was our EcoVadis silver sustainability rating. The organisation provides holistic sustainability rating services for companies. The achievement highlights our work with our suppliers and customers in evolving our reporting and process statuses.
Another huge win for our organisation this year is that 98.7% of our colleagues now receive the Real Living Wage. We hope that by the end of this financial year, that figure can be at 100%.
Support for our staff to earn what they deserve is central to our organisational ethos. Our work fighting for the Real Living Wage across the FM sector is detailed here.
Our expertise and experience
This year, our business grew in both new and familiar sectors, expanding the ground and technical work we conduct.
In March, our division Corps Monitoring partnered with Texecom Monitor, which provides signaling to Alarm Receiving Centres. The partnership streamlines the process for installers, ensuring the best services are available ahead of the 2025 switch-off of the UK public switched telephone network.
We have also secured a contract for another data centre client, which includes Corps security members joining their in-house 24/7 security team. We’re expanding our footprint with the tech sector, too: we’ve been awarded a contract providing guarding and specialist services to a major global cyber security specialist organisation.
In May, we won a five-year contract with ExxonMobil’s Fawley Refinery and Chemical Plant against eight other security firms invited to tender. The plant is a part of the UK’s critical infrastructure and supplies 20% of the countries’ fuel requirements. We are delighted to work with an organisation with complex and specific needs.
We were appointed by Harland & Wolff to deliver services at its historic shipyard location in Belfast. The twelve-officer team was deployed in a 24/7 role and involved new and motivated colleagues learning with more experienced colleagues transferred to us.
In September, our expertise in legal firm security secured us a three-year contract with Pinsent Masons at two key sites in London and Leeds, exemplifying our expertise in providing professional services for the legal sector.
The following month, we provided security and Corps Commissionaires at the Security Institute’s annual conference in October. Anne, Princess Royal, greeted the Commissionaires, including Tom Scott, as pictured above.
In November, we secured a three-year contract with Centrepoint, the leading youth homeless charity in the UK. We currently provide night concierge security and guarding services to seven locations. This includes friendly faces for the charity, who will provide a welcoming environment for those seeking help at the shelters.
Corps Security is immensely proud of the excellent work of our colleagues this year. Our dedicated, specialist and hard-working team have kept our existing and new customers happy, supported veterans and the mental health of those in our sector, and won us prestigious awards.
Everything we do is to support our ethos, to work for the “People, Planet, Purpose.”
We welcome 2024 and hope to develop the work we do to reach to even greater heights.