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First Response Group listed in Sunday Times ‘10 Fast-Track Ones to Watch’

Yorkshire-based security and facilities service provider the First Response Group is featured in the latest Sunday Times ‘10 Fast-Track Ones to Watch’ listed. The business has been recognised as one of the companies set to grow rapidly and shows the potential to secure its place in the ‘Fast Track 100’ in the future.

Businesses are identified based on factors such as past sales, growth forecasts, international expansion and external investment. This summer, the Leeds-based company competed a £6 million refinancing agreement, allowing it to continue the strong growth it has experienced over the last few years.

A series of targeted acquisitions – coupled with recent high-profile tender wins in the insurance, corporate and construction sectors which accelerated the company’s growth – triggered the need to increase available working capital for business continuity and future investment.

Founded back in 2007 by directors Jamal Tahlil and Edgar Chibaka, First Response Group provides security, fire and facilities management services for customers including Aldi and the NHS. Sales this year have risen by 51% to hot a total of £18.6 million.

Simon Alderson, CEO at the First Response Group, said: “It’s an honour to be named as one of The Sunday Times’ ‘10 Fast-Track Ones to Watch’. The extraordinary growth we’ve seen over the past few years has firmly established the First Response Group as a rising star in the security industry, and this achievement recognises the dedication and hard work shown by our entire team.”

Alderson added: “This summer’s funding, coupled with our mission to provide the best service and innovation possible by cultivating a culture of employee inclusion and happiness, will continue to position First Response Group as a leader in the security and FM solutions markets.” First Response Group holds the coveted National Security Inspectorate Guarding Gold accreditation and, as an Approved Contractor Scheme Pacesetter, is ranked in the Top 15% of firms registered on the Security Industry Authority’s Approved Contractor Scheme.

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Jodie Stevens joins Venture Security in compliance manager’s role

Hampshire-based security solutions provider Venture Security has bolstered its senior team with the appointment of Jodie Stevens as compliance manager. In her new role, Stevens will be responsible for overseeing all regulatory, privacy and compliance matters within the organisation and ensuring that the necessary British Standards are applied.

That process and procedure includes managing Venture Security’s many accreditations, such as its National Security Inspectorate Gold status, CHAS and ACS Pacesetters memberships and the business’ continued registration on the Security Industry Authority’s (SIA) Approved Contractor Scheme.

Prior to joining Venture Security, Stevens spent 11 years working at Heathrow Airport within airfield operations, safety and transformation. As such, she was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the airfield, maintaining safety processes and dealing with any accidents and incidents as required, more recently being focused on improving the efficiency of ground operations. This followed on from an 18-month spell in a similar role at Southampton Airport.

Commenting on her new appointment, Stevens said: “I’ve known the team at Venture Security for many years now. I actually hold an SIA licence myself and, in my spare time, have supported the team with guarding operations at Stonehenge, Salisbury Racecourse and for other regional events so I already have a lot of knowledge about the company and how it operates.”

Stevens continued: “Being furloughed due to COVID-19 and a recent restructure led me to reflect on my role at Heathrow Airport and it just seemed the perfect time to make the move to join Venture Security. It’s a great fit for my skills and experience and I look forward to the opportunity of making a tangible difference at what is an ambitious and growing company.”

Jodie Stevens

Upholding standards

Paul Howe, managing director at Venture Security, responded: “Jodie is exceptional at what she does and will be a valuable member of the team. As a company, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality of service possible and that comes down to employing the best people, organising the best training and investing in industry-leading systems and processes. We’re currently undergoing significant growth as a business and upholding standards throughout will be central to our success.”

Based in Andover, Venture Security is ranked within the top 1% of security providers in the UK. The award-winning company was founded in 2006 and works with both corporate and residential clients, providing services including security guarding, mobile patrols, locking and unlocking for premises, key holding and alarm response.

As well as working with businesses, the team manages security for a number of high-profile regional venues and events, also working with councils and BIDs to tackle anti-social behaviour in public spaces.

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ACS Pacesetters recognised at inaugural Achievement Awards Luncheon

The inaugural ACS Pacesetters Achievement Awards Luncheon was held at Royal Windsor Racecourse on Wednesday 4 June. Scheme members in attendance received engraved plaques commemorating their achievements during 2013-2014.

Security companies present included Advance Security, Axis Security, Contract Security (United Kingdom), Corps Security, Danhouse Security, Equinox Security Management, First Response Group, GBM Support Services, Hard Hat Logistics, Incentive Lynx Security, Interr Security, Kingdom Security, Oakpark Security Management, Octavian Security, Shield Security Services, Sodexo, The Specialist Security Company, The Keyholding Company, The Shield Group, TSS Security UK, Ward Security and Wilson James.

Left to Right: Anne Wheeley and Allen Parton (Hounds for Heroes), Terry O’Neil and Lynda Moore (ACS Pacesetters)

Left to Right: Anne Wheeley and Allen Parton (Hounds for Heroes), Terry O’Neil and Lynda Moore (ACS Pacesetters)

The event was kindly sponsored by Cobia, Eurotech Monitoring, the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB), Sutton Specialist Risks, The Security Watchdog (part of Capita plc), Interr Security and Wilson James.

Security Officer of Distinction Awards

The event also witness the launch of the new ‘Security Officer of Distinction Award.

Bill Butler, CEO of the Security Industry Authority, agreed to present individual awards to ten very worthy security officers.

Winners of the Security Officer of Distinction Awards pictured with Bill Butler (CEO, SIA) and Lynda Moore of ACS Pacesetters

Winners of the Security Officer of Distinction Awards pictured with Bill Butler (CEO, SIA) and Lynda Moore of ACS Pacesetters

Each officer was nominated by their client company. Nominations were endorsed by individual employers and the final selections made by the sponsors of the ACS Pacesetters Achievement Awards.

In 2014, the winners are as follows:

• Sophie Cook (Axis Security Services)
• Paul Hodgson (Equinox Security Management)
• Muhammad Butt (Interr Security)
• Stuart House (Kingdom Security)
• Stephen Newall (Oakpark Security Systems)
• Nicholas Jansen (Shield Security Services)
• Christopher Lowe (Sodexo)
• Dumitru Didu (TSS Security)
• Douglas Johnson (Ward Security)
• John Taylor (Wilson James)

A charity raffle took place at the conclusion of the event, with all proceeds going to Hounds for Heroes. Over £1,400 was raised on the day for this very worthwhile cause.
Generous prizes were donated by the Hindhead Golf Club, the Royal Windsor Racecourse, Sodexo and FM Contract Watch.

There was also an extremely moving speech delivered by Gulf War veteran Allen Parton, whose long-held dream and partnership with his Labrador, Endal, formed the basis for the foundation of Hounds for Heroes.

The purpose of Hounds for Heroes is to provide specially trained assistance dogs to injured and disabled men and women of both the UK Armed Forces and the Emergency Services. Through this provision, the organisation’s key aim is to provide help and practical support leading to an enhanced quality of life for its clients.

*If you’d like to find out more information on Hounds for Heroes please visit: http://houndsforheroes.com/

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