What drew you to working at 360-Services?
“I was new to security guard work and didn’t come with any experience. I used to be a hairdresser and have my own saloon for a few years. When I left that I wanted to do something a bit different, try a new type of career, but I knew I wanted to do something more than sitting at a checkout.”
After completing her security training and becoming qualified, she was placed at St Giles International school in concierge security. From there, she’s worked with a number of 360-Services’ clients, at different venues and events. “I’ve done concierge work, car park security, door work and Notting Hill Carnival three times.” Now, she’s embarking on her new placement at one of St Mungo’s homeless shelter’s in London.
How does your security guard work engage you in community care?
“When I was working as a hairdresser I was a personal ear to my clients and the community. As the manager I’d have to deal with and confront any customers’ inappropriate behaviour and look after my staff.” Sharon wanted to transition to a career that could keep her active and engaged in community security. St Mungo’s as one of the UK’s main homeless charities has done pivotal work to look after homeless communities, especially in the challenging climate this year. “I worked at another shelter for a day in March before lockdown was issued. The staff were finding shelter for homeless people and I helped in handing out food donations; I felt really satisfied afterwards knowing I did something to help.”
Tell us more about your new job at St Mungo’s.
“I’ve done a couple of night-shifts at one of St Mungo’s other homeless shelters but this is my new placement. I’ve been here for a month now working part-time.” After working predominantly at St Giles International school, St Mungo’s has presented Sharon with a new set of challenges and people to work with. Working with vulnerable homeless people has required Sharon to adapt her skillset and approaches. “I treat people with respect regardless of their background. Working with vulnerable people who might have substance abuse issues, you have to be alert and have heightened senses; you might smell a substance or see something untoward for example. Once you get to know the vulnerable people you’re working with you can get a better idea of how best to communicate with them and find out about their needs. You have to remain calm, gentle but authoritative too.”
What does a typical look like at St Mungo’s?
“I mainly do day-shifts. When I arrive in the morning I’ll take over from the night-shift workers. They’ll give me a handover and I’ll get an overview of what happened during the night with the residents. I’ll do a patrol of the site and make sure everything is in order. I’ll keep an eye on who’s coming in and out of the building, keep records and observations in my daily log and work with the rest of the St Mungo’s staff whenever they need help.” Throughout the day Sharon is always due-diligent of Covid-19 regulations to keep the shelter secure. “We have PPE on site, i’ll always maintain social distancing and I’m always cleaning my desk and areas to make sure it’s clean for myself and the next guard taking over from me.”
What are some of the main skills a good security guard needs?
“To be patient and observant and do the task at hand to the best of your ability. Having owned a business I know how important it is for everyone to get the job done. When you’re working as a security guard you’re also representing your company, like I’m representing 360-Services. That’s why it’s important to be conscious of your work and how you come across to people, remain professional and have high standards.”
Have you got a particular favourite work moment?
“I attended St Giles’ Christmas party last year and I was awarded for my security guard work. I didn’t even know I was getting the award, it was great to get recognition for the work I do and I got a bottle of champagne!”
With Sharon’s wealth of experience as both a business owner, team member and recognised security guard, we can’t wait to see what great work she’ll do at St Mungo’s.