April 1st – No joke at IPSA Member Carlisle

The date is always synonymous with practical jokes but for Carlisle it was no laughing matter on 1st April.

3 simultaneous mobilisations all came to a conclusion on the same date!

To put it into context:

  • An eight location security contract mobilisation across West Yorkshire (West Yorkshire Combined Authority)
  • a 5 location student accommodation project mobilisation across London (CRM) and
  • a pan network cleaning, security and dispatch solution from Edinburgh to Manchester (Transpennine Express).


The various mobilisations included:

  • new vehicles
  • new technologies
  • new branded uniforms
  • new recruits
  • restructured services

and all were high profile and all were critical for the client.

The projects involved the TUPE of over 50 staff into Carlisle from a number of different companies requiring different levels of screening, training and induction and 20 new recruits to supplement existing services – some with less than a weeks notice.

I’m pleased and very proud  to report that all projects ran to time and budget with only minor snagging to be done.

The day was a full midnight to midnight affair with many long shifts being put in by so many.

On the security side special mention has to go to Rob Pritchard Divisional Director for Security for his unbelievable tenacity to make sure all went to plan despite in the build up to the day having to overcome more hurdles the GB Athletics Olympic Squad. It was breath taking to watch his total ownership of the day – he WASNT going to let anything get in his way.

Similarly I must mention Steve Cere Operations and Customer Care Manager for his expert planning, coolness of head and unflinching commitment to make sure the clients needs were met on their important day in mobilisating a new and exciting rail franchise in the North. Quite literally history being made but Steve made it look like business as usual – trust me – it wasn’t!. Magnificent to watch and be a part of.

These guys were the standout stars but it was fantastic to see so many colleagues on the ground, from MD to finance from HR to HSQE, from Control Room to Business Development. All played their part to get it over the line and make the day a huge success. I for one was proud to be part of it and experience what makes us different

  • we used sector expertise to win the contracts and plan their execution
  • we cared passionately about all who transferred into Carlisle
  • we put our customers at the heart of what we did which … enabled us to
  • deliver on our promises.

Days like 1st April make you realise why our values are the right blue print to future success! They also make you realise what a talented bunch you work with which makes it all worthwhile.

If you need more evidence of the success of the day just look at the picture – smiles AND well fitting smart uniforms – both sadly a rare experience for some transferring officers I spoke to!

Here’s to more days like April 1st!!

Written by Martin Woollam

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