Andrew joined the team at Venture in Spring 2019 and provides manned security for Salisbury Cathedral and its estate. His focus is dealing with antisocial behaviour and ensuring residents, staff and visitors feel safe, while maintaining public access to common areas.
I guess I’m not your typical security officer! I have done all sorts over the years, most recently working in complex care where I was supporting young people with disabilities and mental health issues. I have also worked in schools as a specialist teaching assistant, supporting those with specific needs.
I joined the team at Venture Security shortly after gaining my SIA license, which was my first step into the security industry. I quickly found that many of my skills were transferable. For example, my experience in dealing with antisocial behaviour. Having strong communication skills is also vital.
The minute I met Paul and Sara, the owners of Venture, I knew I wanted to join the team. It is a great company to work for that is very forward-thinking and has a solid reputation to match.
I’ve worked on a few different client assignments to date, including for corporate clients, as a City Centre Security Officer in Salisbury and also at Stonehenge.
Now I’m based at Salisbury Cathedral full time and it’s wonderful. I’m very lucky to be working in such a beautiful setting and with such a nice team.
I am on site to ensure residents and those visiting and working at the cathedral, feel safe. I conduct regular patrols of the estate and deal with any antisocial behaviour I see. I am also helping with access control and car parking at the moment and with anything else as needed by the cathedral team.
As part of the CityWatch radio system, I keep in close contact with Venture’s City Centre Security Officers too. We will share information and support each other to make the centre of Salisbury a safer, more pleasant environment.
Managing antisocial behaviour within the cathedral grounds forms a large part of what I do. This includes things like public drinking and drug taking, the playing of loud music, littering and groups of young people gathering, which can be quite intimidating for residents. I know my presence can be very reassuring, especially for vulnerable residents.
The cathedral is naturally a bit of a magnet for people who are struggling and I’m very happy to also be using my skills to assist individuals in getting the help they need.
I have a background in complex care and have completed lots of training as part of my previous work with people with mental health issues and other needs. I have also had training in counselling skills and am a mental health first aider (MHFA).
I recently completed the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) with Venture Security and look forward to my official accreditation coming through.
Getting to work in such beautiful and historic surroundings is amazing. I have also built a close working relationship with the cathedral staff, who are all very nice.
A big part of my job is making residents feel safe. There are a lot of vulnerable people – such as elderly visitors and residents - that feel quite isolated at the moment. They like that there is someone here who they can approach if they have any concerns. It gives them reassurance that there is a visible security presence and knowing we have their best interests at heart.
I would certainly recommend it. It is a really nice team to be part of and importantly, management is very supportive and approachable. If I ever have an issue, I know I can contact either my supervisor or the management team at any time. They understand the challenges of the role and are always there if you need them.