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Tag: #londonsecurity

Octavia Hill 1838-1912 Social reformer and founder of The National Trust 1a Garbutt Place, Marylebone

During our work we regularly encounter people in far less fortunate situations than ourselves. This has led us to run extended projects with estate clients, Westminster council and outreach teams where we direct and support those living on the street. During COVID there are many who are unaware of how to connect with the wide range of excellent services available to them, making the role of our teams on the ground ever more important. Our work has been varied from specific medium-term projects to ongoing work done by our foot patrol teams in Marylebone and Bloomsbury and also our response teams on a day-to-day basis. Whist visiting the team undertaking our street patrols and property inspections, I spotted the blue plaque of Octavia Hill in Garbutt place. Although she is best known for being a founding member of the national trust her achievements went beyond this and are very relevant today.


Born into a family of strained finances Octavia Hill was unable to complete a formal education. This did not stop her pioneering not only social housing but social work and shaping the modern landscape. She believed that it was impossible to “deal with people and their houses separately” identifying that where and how we live has a direct impact peoples lives.
Octavia Hill worked with ruthless self-discipline and determination, identifying dilapidated housing and worked with private investors to provide sustainable housing for London’s urban poor. The first of which was on Paradise Place in London’s Marylebone, which later changed its name to Garbutt Place where her plaque is today. The buildings were anything but Paradise, most of the stairs and floor boards had been used by the tenants for firewood and were the worst of Victorian slums. She believed in a partnership between tenant and land lord, where there was responsibility to provide quality housing by one and maintenance by the other.


This led here to lay the foundation stones of not only social housing but also social work. Whilst collecting the rent on a weekly basis she used the opportunity to get to know the tenants and develop a community. Her understanding and insight led to the Settlements Movement, founded on her belief that social harmony was only achievable with mixed communities. This would prevent slums and ghetto type areas emerging. As a city London differs from so many around the globe because of this believe in social mixing, even Mayfair one of the most affluent areas in the world has a very significant amount of social housing provided by organisations such as the Peabody Trust.


Her influence is not felt just in London but hold influences worldwide, the Octavia Hill Association of Philadelphia was founded in her memory to provide housing to low and middle income city residents.
Octavia Hill identified a housing need for key workers more than an century before it became a phrase so often used today.

Her influence was not just on the urban and social landscape, fighting to prevent urban sprawl and thus saving both Hampstead Heath and Parliament Hill Fields from development. This green space is always of great value to London residents rich or poor but even more so in the currant time of lock down. She is also credited with coining the term “green belt”, a term and idea used and appreciated by all of us.


Her most famous legacy is almost centrally the founding of the National Trust, saving important buildings for the nation. This however is only one part of her incredible achievements on the urban, suburban, rural and social landscape of the UK and beyond.

The return of live events

The government’s announcement that lockdown measures will end on the 21st June, has brought welcome relief to the hard hit events industry. There is clear optimism amongst event producers, that this vibrant and exciting sector is poised to bounce back. It has been clear to us that this optimism has been gathering at a pace prior to the recent announcement. This is reflected by high volume of queries that we have received from producers requiring event security provision this Summer. The hardship of the last 12 months, we believe, has created a real demand from event goers for the live entertainment experience, which will spark a revival in live events this year.

Gallowglass Security’s lockdown activity

Throughout lockdown, Gallowglass has provided security guards to a large number of public sector and charitable bodies. These include, the GLA, City of Westminster, the London Boroughs of Lambeth, Ealing, Havering, Waltham Forest, St Mungo’s and Crisis. The security aim of on behalf of these clients has been to enforce stringent anti-Covid measures to keep people safe. All this, whilst ensuring that we have the necessary measures in place to minimise the risk to our guard force. We continue to provide security at various London hotels that temporarily accommodate highly vulnerable rough sleepers. Additionally, we currently provide security guards and Covid marshals in the London boroughs of Ealing and Lambeth. Their purpose is to successfully manage the control measures at the Covid testing and mass rollout vaccination centers.

The Gallowglass Security approach

Our experience in the event sector has been invaluable in our providing effective anti-Covid security regimes. There has been the necessary up skilling of our guard force to deal with the specific challenges that Covid presents. The Gallowglass approach though, remains the same. Our aims are always to secure the desired outcomes for our clients. We deliver this through extensive planning and risk assessment before the start of any contract; together with the deployment of well briefed and led guards with the correct skill set for the task in hand. All this together with frontline service delivery that is effective and friendly; and where use of initiative is encouraged, and leadership valued. By virtue of necessity, our lead in times for assignments can be very short. Gallowglass has illustrated, time and time again, it’s remarkable capacity to deliver all security services at very short notice. We pride ourselves on our ability to react and deliver our services at short notice, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

The effect of our lockdown experience

An unintended, but positive consequence of the crisis is that it has strengthened and improved us. Our personnel and operating processes have been stress tested, and have excelled. Adversity has bred innovation, with an original and dynamic approach to both health and safety and training, being a very good example of this.

Final thoughts from Gallowglass Security’s Managing Partner – Giles Turnbull

“ I have been hugely impressed by how my team has adapted and evolved to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic. The whole of Gallowglass Security have shown admirable determination and intelligence, to overcome the myriad of problems presented by Covid .With the creative buzz of live events set to make its welcome recovery, we return to where we came from. We have always set and delivered very high standards for ourselves in all that we do. I have no doubt that our Covid experience has improved upon this, and that the quality of our event security services will go onto play a significant role in the success of live events this Summer.”

LEAVE IT TO ME I’LL TAKE CARE OF IT!

Amr Fadl 50, is Gallowglass Security’s Service Delivery Manager. His input has been crucial in establishing the very high levels of Customer Service throughout the Company with a particular emphasis on front of house for both Commercial and Residential properties.

Born in Cairo from a family established in the Egyptian Film industry, Amr gained a degree in Accountancy from Cairo University, before performing a years National Service in the Egyptian Army’s Pay Corps.

Married with two sons, Amr moved to London in 1994. He entered the Hotel Industry, swiftly ascending the ranks from casual waiter at functions, to joining the Concierge Department of the Royal Garden Hotel in 2003. Simultaneously to working full time, he pursued his childhood passion for Art and Photography by gaining a BA (hons) degree in Art at Surrey University in 2001.

Prior to joining Gallowglass, Amr also worked as a Concierge at the Montcom, Ritz and Brown’s Hotels. His mature, calm and professional demeanour made an immediate impact on both colleagues and clients. His remit swiftly expanded to bringing five star hotel concierge levels of service, to all Gallowglass front of house assignments. Engendering trust and confidence, he applies the Concierge motto of “Leave it to me, I’ll take care of it”. Whatever the need or request, like a swan, he carries out his tasks in an apparently effortless manner.

Asked about the key elements in delivering peerless customer service, Amr said: “All too often training for customer service roles within the security industry entail a box ticking exercise which fail to address the most important aspect, which is the human element.

Time must be given to each individual deployed. It is essential to get to know them, engage with them and help them be the best they can be. staff must not only fully understand the technical and process elements of the task, but go so much further. The key to customer service lies in the attitude of the staff. I am looking for people with the right attitude, above all I am looking for genuine empathy. With this bedrock of character, front of house personnel can be taught and developed to manage clients and visitors. Be approachable, friendly and helpful, but never cross the line into familiarity. All people are individuals and front of house staff must understand this, and should be capable of a nuanced approach to customer service.”  

As part of the continuous development plan of all Gallowglass security personnel, along with more specific subjects such as fire-marshall, Covid training and diversity training, customer service is one of the pillars of Gallowglass Security’s offering.

Besides his sterling contribution to Gallowglass Security, Amr still finds the time for his art and photography. Over the years he has exhibited in many private galleries as well as Olympia and Chelsea Town Hall. Below are some of his works and much more can be seen on his website www.amrfadl.art.

Gallowglass Security Partners LLP’s support for rough sleepers during the Covid 19 crisis

The unfolding Covid 19 crisis highlighted the perilous predicament facing rough sleepers from the heightened risk of Covid transmission. This being on account of a myriad of factors, notably; that many have chronic physical and mental health problems which are often heightened by substance misuse, the inability to self isolate, the absence of basic hygiene facilities, together with a peripatetic lifestyle.

We believe that the leadership of the Greater London Authority (GLA) deserve immense credit for being relentless in raising this issue in the public and political consciousness at a very early stage of the emerging pandemic. All this as well as maintaining it in the public profile, and providing the political impetus and means to ensure that relief was provided in the form of accommodating this highly vulnerable group at various London hotels.

The admirable and highly committed St Mungo’s charity, were commissioned to provide rough sleeping services at the hotels, and throughout the pandemic been at the vanguard in providing a variety of essential and invaluable outreach support to those being temporarily housed in hotels across the capitol.

We were invited by the GLA to provide security support at hotels under their responsibility, an invitation that we had no hesitation in accepting despite the challenges and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic. Ultimately we reacted as we always do, with alacrity, and deployed carefully selected and well briefed teams of guards at various locations, with the tasks of ensuring the safety of the residents, outreach workers and hotel staff as well as enacting any and all special instructions received on site.

As the pandemic worsened, we were assigned to provide security regimes for more hotels under the aegis of the GLA; as well as expanding our involvement into the London Boroughs of Westminster, Havering, Waltham Forest and most recently, on behalf of the long standing and renowned homeless charity Crisis.

For Gallowglass this assignment represented a paradigm shift from the range of services we are accustomed to providing, not least because of the absence of any formal guidance on security provision at the front line amongst a demographic profile of persons at a high risk of Covid transmission.

Undaunted though, our guard force was carefully selected on the grounds of their skillset and aptitude for this work, and were comprehensively briefed and rapidly deployed. Despite national shortages of PPE at the time of initial deployment, we were able to procure it, and equip all guards with it. Simultaneously all sites were rigoursly and critically risk assessed so establish safe systems of work for them.

Drawing on advice and subsequent updates from bodies such as Public Health England and the NHS, our H&S Manager assimilated the scientific advice and then distilled and adapted it in the form of a series of highly unique security relevant training syllabus’s. These Covid specific training modules have been, and continue to be updated and delivered on site on a one to one basis in the form of toolbox training.

We believe that this highly considered approach has been instrumental in building awareness and understanding of the very specific challenges posed, and has  ultimately cultivated the necessary skill sets and understanding that has contributed to our guards excelling in such a unique environment.

As with all, it is our hope that oncoming vaccines mark the beginning of the end of this pandemic. Until vaccines are clearly entrenched throughout the population and their efficacy thereby established, rough sleepers will continue to require the support that local government provides along with dedicated and skilful charities. We remain on hand to assist whenever and wherever required, especially over the Christmas period.

Managing Partner Giles Turnbull says.

“This is and remains a remarkable project, and one that we regard ourselves as privileged to be involved in on account of its inestimable social value. It’s successful delivery is a result of a highly collegiate effort, where our staff have been encouraged to draw on their intelligence, accumulated knowledge and experience, and apply their initiative for the benefit and success of this project .

The final word must go to the guards on the ground who have shown great professionalism selflessness, determination and effectiveness in delivering our security services. There are many who have distinguished themselves and I thank them all. Particular commendations though must go to Adedotun Ajao, Mohammed Ismail, Grzegorz Grabowicki, Amir Khattab, Ashley Campbell and Yuri Asenov all of whom have been particularly outstanding.”

Security

Nick Kostov appointed partner as of 01 November 2020

We are extremely pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Nick Kostov as a Partner at Gallowglass, and to welcome him as our new Head of Operations. As with many at Gallowglass, Nicks journey towards Partnership has been a fascinating one. Nick graduated as a Primary School Teacher from Bulgaria’s Plovdiv University in Primary School Pedagogy and Foreign Languages, and is also fully licensed to teach at Primary level in England and Wales.

The early signs of his leadership ability, initiative and calmness under pressure were vividly illustrated when undertaking national service in the Bulgarian Air Force, when he single handedly played a critical role in averting an aeronautical disaster. A MIG 23, piloted by a senior Bulgarian General, was in distress and attempting to land at his base. Following a catastrophic failure of communications in air traffic control, he improvised and established alternative means of communications, and from there was able to guide the pilot down to a safe landing.

Since joining Gallowglass in 2008 his leadership ability, particularly in event security, was immediately apparent, and his rise through the security ranks was meteoric. He was the first, and to date, the only guard at Gallowglass ever to secure the accolade of primus inter pares. This qualifies him to undertake all security leadership roles regardless of size and complexity. In this capacity he has continually distinguished himself as an outstanding security team leader at high profile events in London, and at landmark event venues such as the Saatchi Gallery, Kew, the Roundhouse and the corporate and governmental orientated QEII Conference centre.

His leadership style is characterised by his natural authority, that is calm and unflustered and with no small measure of charisma as well. This has always engendered immediate confidence amongst event production professionals in both Nick and his team, and amongst the security team itself. Owing to Nick’s immense and steadfast contribution to Gallowglass’s growth in both a security leader and managerial capacity, he made an unanswerable case for elevation to Partnership, and one that is richly deserved. Away from work Nick delights in family life with his wife and young daughter. He is a connoisseur of Scotch Whiskey and a very keen student of the ferocious martial art, Krav Maga.

Giles Turnbull, the Managing Partner of Gallowglass Security Partners LLP, adds:

” I place a great premium on the timeless concept of leadership and of its value to our organisation, together with a desire to encourage and empower all our valued staff to perform to the absolute limits of their ability and beyond. With this in mind it always gives me immense satisfaction to observe members of our team exhibit these qualities and grasp the opportunities afforded to them to progress through our organisation.

Nick has shown tremendous leadership at all levels and has made an immense contribution to our progress as an organisation, and both I and my fellow Partners are delighted to welcome him to the Partnership. When I reflect on the composition of the Partners, I note that over half started their careers with us as security guards. This confirms that Gallowglass is a meritocracy, where hard work and ability will always secure its reward, and rightly so.”