As soon as I heard about the Hollie Gazzard Trust, I immediately knew that I had to reach out.
Aged just 20 years old, Hollie Gazzard was murdered at her place of work, in Gloucester on February 18th 2014, by her boyfriend, after months of obsessive behaviour, jealousy, and harassment.
Whilst it must still be painful to talk about how his daughter sadly lost her life, her father, Nick Gazzard recognises the importance of raising awareness so that other abusive relationships can be recognised and stopped from escalating in the future.
What we must remember is that obsessive or abusive relationships are not always in your personal life. They can be in the workplace or from a client or customer. It can start with abusive e mails and escalate to threats of violence or worse. It can be sexual harassment, bullying or discrimination at home or at work.
Nick says “The aim of the Hollie Gazzard Trust is simple – we work to save lives by building individual and community resilience to abuse”
The Trust works in three ways:
- To raise awareness
- To help people create positive, happy and safe relationships
- To offer a free personal safety app, which is police and Government approved – Hollie Guard.
A bit about the app
The Alert Feature
If you feel threatened, you can send out the alert by either shaking the phone or pressing the icon tile button.
Hollie Guard assumes when you activate the alert, you are doing this for a reason and therefore instantly and automatically send your location to your emergency contact via SMS.
After this, your phone automatically starts to record voice and video which is saved to the server, not on your phone. Your location is tracked and viewed in real-time by your emergency contacts.
The Journey Feature
The Journey Feature can help you travel safely by ensuring that your emergency contacts are kept informed about where you’re going so that they can check on you in case you’re in trouble.
Begin your journey by selecting a start and endpoint and selecting START. Your journey progress can be checked by tapping on the interactive map. Once you’ve reached your destination the app will ask if you are safe or not. If you select “no”, you will be given an option to trigger an alert. You can cancel your journey at any time by selecting “cancel journey” on the bottom of the journey screen where you will have to enter your four-digit pin.
Your emergency contacts will receive an SMS and an email with a link to a website that lets you view the journey details in real-time. If you have places that you frequently visit you can tap on the star to save for future use.
The Meeting Feature
This allows you to feel safe when going to unfamiliar areas, meeting someone new or going into a potentially dangerous area where there may not be mobile phone signal or internet connection.
You can set a designated duration for your meeting and alert emergency contacts if you don’t mark yourself ass safe before the time has elapsed.
Once the timer expires an alert will be raised automatically, enabling your emergency contacts to pinpoint where you are so they can call for help or request an emergency response.
The Man Down Feature
When enabled, the man down feature allows the app to automatically detect if you have had a sudden fall or stopped moving for a period of time. This provides peace of mind in your daily life including when, walking the dog, out for a run alone and working at heights.
It allows users performing dangerous tasks to activate an immediate alert as soon as the user be- comes motionless. To activate, head to the menu option at the bottom of the screen.
Go into app settings and click the slider to enable Man Down. It can be used on its own or alongside another feature like the meeting feature.
The Report Feature
The Report feature allows users to quickly and easily record an incident with supporting photo evidence that is automatically categorised, time stamped and geo-tagged.
This feature can be used to create a log of events which can be used as evidence if required. All reports will get saved to the Hollie Guard server.
A bit about me
Over the course of 6 years, I was tormented, bullied, and physically attacked on a daily basis. Chased through a small alleyway as a group of 5 girls tried to catch my hair on fire. Punched in the school hallway as I walked to class. Chewing gum stuck in my hair. My friends threatened that if they told anyone or stood up for me, the same would happen to them.
This all ended at the age of 15 when I was attacked with a wooden snooker triangle, where I was repeatedly hit around the head until the triangle broke. The initial blow was so close to my temple, I am lucky that I wasn’t more seriously hurt.
What did the school do before all of this happened?
But would it have been a different story if this app was available 20 years ago? Is it possible that this app can change the way bullying and abuse is reported, therefore keeping people safe.
Creating more safety around property managers
With an increasing concern around the safety of property managers and the necessity to provide lone workers with personal safety devices, this app is revolutionary, and I have already implemented it into my workplace.
By doing this, I can give myself and my team access to a 24/7 monitoring service, which provides direct access to a dedicated emergency response team, who are fully equipped to assess the situation and are trained in the appropriate escalation processes.
My role, as Corporate Ambassador, is to spread the word as much as I can about the incredible work of the Trust and continue in my mission to safeguard property managers across the UK.
Jodie Fraser, Managing Director, Fraser Allen Estate Management