Cambridge Cyrenians, a registered charity that provides supported accommodation for single, homeless people in Cambridge, is using a customised version of Lookout Call, to enhance the lone worker protection of staff members and volunteer workers, as part of its overall health and safety policy.

The Cyrenians has nine hostels throughout the city and these are used to provide long-term and short-term accommodation. The charity also works closely with local housing associations, other charities and the City Council. Cambridge Cyrenians will provide help to all adults over 18, but tends to specialise in helping and supporting single, adult males with drink problems.

Why Lookout Call? Lookout Call is being used by a number of different staff groups, including those from the “controlled drinking project”, mental health team, outreach team, as well as volunteers who assist with running the hostels.

The long term aim of Cambridge Cyreniens is to help people to lead a normal life. In order to achieve this, staff often spend long periods of time with one particular client but may well go to several different places, such as the shops or the day centre, during the course of the day.

It became apparent, very quickly, that clients were sensitive to their key workers using Lookout Call to “clock in” every time they moved places, so a unique feature called “Instant locator” was developed for the Cyrenians.

Instant Locator allows lone workers to tell the Lookout Call system they have changed location without having to provide an update of who they are with. Staff are very pleased with this feature because it means they can discreetly keep in contact with colleagues, without making their clients feel suspicious or nervous, which could lead to a change in their behaviour.

Brian Holman of Cambridge Cyrenians says: “We are a very small organisation and I was concerned we would not receive the same level of support from Lookout Call as larger organisations. However this has not been the case at all. If we have a query, someone from Lookout Call is always available to speak to us. Lookout Call is also very good value for money – a key factor for a charity like ourselves – and we would recommend it to other charities who are considering a lone worker safety system.”