Women’s Aid Integrated Services (WAIS) is the primary domestic abuse agency for Nottingham and South Nottinghamshire.
The charity is run by women for women (and their children) who have experienced domestic abuse, and provides a range of services to help women stay safe, change their lives and strengthen their families. These include refuge accommodation, a 24 hour Freephone helpline and various outreach services.
The charity works on a one to one basis with survivors of domestic abuse and WAIS’ frontline support workers carry out visits alone, either to women’s homes or in public places and also accompany the women they support to appointments.
“Our workers are dealing with women who are at risk of harm from their partners – some are at extreme risk and so, our workers are at risk too,” says Holly Mills, Communications Manager at WAIS.
The WAIS team had previously relied on a paper system to log workers in and out. However, as Holly explains, this relied on staff remembering if a worker had called in following an appointment. The information the worker left was also patchy meaning that the charity would struggle to trace a worker if they needed to.
“We needed to make sure our workers were as safe as possible when out on visits,” says Holly. “We needed a system that would track where our workers were, raise an alarm if the worker failed to return from a visit and also allow them to call for help if they needed it.
“We looked at other lone worker safety systems but Lookout Call offered the best combination of flexibility, functionality and cost, which is important to us as a charity. We are now confident that we are keeping our lone workers as safe as possible.”
WAIS has had good feedback from staff using the system, who say that using Lookout Call is easy to do and gives them the confidence to carry out outreach work safe in the knowledge that a colleague would be alerted should something happen to them.
Holly says that the Lookout Call system reports have been a useful feature, enabling line managers to track who is using the system to encourage better usage. On the user-side features such as covert recording, Watch Me tracking and panic alarms have also proved popular.
“The service we have received from Lookout Call has been excellent,” says Holly. “Response is always fast, be it by email or phone and there is always someone there to help if we get stuck setting something up or making changes to the system.”