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Partnership Award for ng homes and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

Work being carried out by ng homes and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to manage the risk of an ageing population in North Glasgow has been recognised with a UK-wide award.

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The Partnership Award, which ng homes won at the Alarm Risk Awards 2016, recognises excellence in public services and communities.

Over the past year, ng homes has been working in partnership with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) to identify creative ways to engage with the community to mitigate risk and develop a collaborative approach within specific areas.

A key focus of their work is with Scotland’s ageing population which has been identified as a particular ‘at risk’ group in terms of fire fatalities and casualties. The partnership also targets its resources around areas of ‘unintentional harm’, much of which is related to falls, particularly with the elderly group.

Regeneration Manager for ng homes Margaret Fraser said:

“Around one third of our residents are within the over-50 age group, one which has been identified as being at particular risk. We also have a high number of multi-storey flats within our housing stock, so our work is centred around prioritising prevention work to reduce fire fatalities and fire casualties, improving partnership working and developing best practice for both organisations.”

SFRS Officer Fiona Herriot is seconded to ng homes and works with their frontline staff to ensure systems and processes match the strategic and community focus of the approach. Fiona delivered fire safety awareness training for housing and regeneration staff, including concierges who are on 24-hour duty at multi-storey flats. She said:

“We had already undertaken various areas of working together in the community in terms of raising awareness and education about issues around fire."

SFRS Area Manager for Glasgow George McGrandles said:

“As the connections developed between ng homes and SFRS, it was recognised that there was potential for a more innovative approach in terms of community safety and prevention of harm, both by fire damage and unintentional harm in relation to trips and falls.

“Working with ng homes, we have also targeted community engagement messages around fire and unintentional harm to Build Safer Communities.”

SFRS has provided valuable input to ng homes on specific areas, including emergency access to new car parks at the multi-storey properties and the mechanisms and doors chosen for new close door entry systems. It also supported ng homes community programme which sees 60 older people at a time visit their local fire station for ‘afternoon tea’ where they receive a talk on fire safety, tea and entertainment and have the option to sign up for home safety visits.

Sheltered Housing Support Officer for ng homes Chris Quail said:

“The Health and Safety of our tenants and residents is of primary concern and, as an organisation, risk management is a focal point of what we do. The association has a high profile for partnership working and we are delighted that our work with Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has been recognised with this award.”