Richard Grundy, security supervisor at Unilever, Leeds
Joined Sodexo: August 2015
Lives in: Leeds
Q. Where was your first job and what were you doing?
A. Coincidentally it was for Gardner Merchant (now Sodexo), when I was 15 or 16, as a kitchen porter at the Halifax bank head office in Pudsey.
Q. Is this your first role in security?
A. No, I have seven years’ experience in the security industry, with five years as a supervisor/manager (in security and soft services) at various sites including shopping centres and at Barclays.
Q. Tell us about your Sodexo role.
A. Primarily, it’s making sure officers are following procedures, controlling access for HGVs, visitors and staff etc. As safety is so important a big emphasis is on inducting contractors and tanker drivers and a large part of the role is training of staff, primarily in security but also post room staff and reception staff.
Q. What are the challenges of working at a site like this?
A. Not a challenge as such, but the safety aspect of site and the responsibility that comes along with it. The site produces aerosols, and with the associated risk for a major explosion, it means that we religiously brief visitors about the hazards.
Q. What do you like most about it?
A. The safety culture within Sodexo team on site.
Q. Tell us about the security team there.
A. We’re a varied team of 12 individuals, some with lots of experience on site, and some with lots of other security experience – which is a good mix. They are a strong team, who take their roles on site seriously.
Q. Have you had to handle any tricky situations, and if so, what did you do?
A. Probably the most demanding was when I was duty manager in a shopping centre. I had to handle an evacuation due to a gas leak, which was stressful but went well.
Q. What’s the nicest thing a colleague has ever said to you?
A. When I was on the Barclays account my then boss put me up for an award, for scoring 100% in KPIs for each of the 28 months I was on that site.
Q. Tell us one thing about yourself that people would be surprised to learn.
A. I’m a twin.
Q. What would be your perfect day off?
A. A decent film at the cinema, then a meal.
Q. What did you want to be as a child?
A. A footballer – still hopeful!
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