Grantham Journal Big Interview: Keeping 60,000 safe and secure at events
Having worked in safety and security at some of the biggest events in the UK, Kate Adey decided to bring her experience to Grantham and has set up her own company.
* Tell us about your background.
I recently completed 23 years of service in the British Army, and at the same time have worked in the event industry for 12 years. I started in 2003 as part of Twickenham Stadium’s undercover security team, tasked with securing movement of cash from ticket or merchandise sales, and carrying out crowd surveillance in case of potential ejections. I was then promoted to the ‘Spirit of Rugby’ corporate area responsible for the safety and security of England players, visiting teams, their wives, partners, guests, VIPs and the Royal Box. In 2007 I was approached by Wembley National Stadium to join their crowd safety management team within the ‘new’ Wembley, where I spent six years working on anything between 26 and 42 events a year, including football, rugby league and a myriad of concerts. I was promoted twice to the role of level 1 manager, responsible for the safety of up to 33,000 spectators and 600 staff. In 2012, shortly after the Olympics, I made the move to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to become one of their deputy safety officers. This gave me experience of working in an outside venue with responsibility for up to 60,000, and also entailed the ingress and egress across road networks that required closing down during events. Whilst still working for the park, I’m also at present working for Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Stadium during the Rugby World Cup, England v All Blacks and Race of Champions later this year.
* What made you decide to set up your own company?
I’ve always been involved in training; either receiving it or arranging it for staff. As a major part of my military career included working in the training environment, I have become very passionate about the standard that learners are entitled to receive. All too often I have witnessed sub-standard training, and given my experience, I thought why not set up a company offering safety, security and training? And so Gryphon Event Safety and Security Limited was born. Our mission is to provide quality services and training to local people, without the burden of unnecessary inflated costs to our clients. Our services include event consultancy, event stewarding and security, close protection, surveillance, residential security teams, and residential and commercial security surveys. We also deliver training in first aid/paediatric first aid, security courses for door supervisors and close protection, spectator safety, health and safety/fire safety and food safety, to name but a few. All our instructors have hands on operational experience in the subjects they deliver.
*What do you think of safety and security in Grantham?
My main concern is the general attitude to safety, security and the training on offer. Firstly, we have the age old attitude of ‘it will never happen to me’. We always have positive feedback from learners that they have learnt something new and that they feel more confident. This is good for employers as training will reduce sickness, absence and injuries, as well as improve cultural attitudes in the workplace. Secondly, we’ve identified that many businesses don’t wish to change their external training provider, despite some of the training on offer being as much as 50 per cent more cost effective. But we hope to spend our next 12 months changing that mind set of ‘well this is how we’ve always done it’ and look forward to working with many new clients in the Grantham area.
* Visit www.gryphonsecurity.co.uk or call 01476 589696.