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Pilgrims COO, David Freear (centre) and team at SEA Awards

Pilgrims Group secures award for work in Nigeria

Global security and risk specialist Pilgrims Group has walked away with the International Achievement Award at this year’s Security & Fire Excellence Awards. It is the company’s third win in four years.

The award, which recognises quality and innovation in the international context, highlighted Pilgrim Group’s work for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) High Commission in Nigeria, a country which presents considerable security challenges, with areas of high crime and political unrest.

In 2014-15, Pilgrims doubled its workforce in Nigeria with a multi-million, five-year, 300-man Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) guarding contract. The contract covers six locations countrywide, including the High Commission in Abuja, Deputy High Commission in Lagos and numerous residences and hotspots.

With manned guarding as part of its core expertise, Pilgrims brought in some new security service features which the FCO had not seen before, such as dedicated executive contract-management teams in Abuja and Lagos plus man-management staff on the ground.

John Berry, regional overseas security manager, British High Commission, Abuja, Nigeria commented:

“It is exceptionally important for the interests of HMG to ensure the safety and security of its staff and assets abroad. In January 2015, Pilgrims replaced the existing guard force in Nigeria. From day one, the six BHC locations across Nigeria received superb Contract Management culminating in results that were way above expectation.”

Pilgrims managing director, Bill Freear added:

“Pilgrims was selected for the contract after bidding against the major players in the security industry and against the odds, as some thought that we were too small. The FCO soon saw that our UK model of high-quality, intensive training and management would transform their guarding experience.  This is the first time a company of our size has ever won an embassy contract and demonstrates how bigger isn’t always best. To win three awards in four years endorses all that our team has worked so hard to achieve, it demonstrates our commitment to continually improve not only our services but also our performance year on year.”

Last year the company won the 2014 SEA Award for Security Training Initiative of the Year with its interactive, online training programme, EGuarding which since its launch in 2013, has increased efficiency and service to clients by 40 per cent.  This followed a win in the same category in 2012 for an innovative training scheme the company developed for the British Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Pilgrims was also selected as a finalist by the Judges in two other categories in 2015 – Security Guarding Company of the Year and Security Training Initiative of the Year.

The awards were presented at a ceremony held at The Park Lane Hilton, London on November 25th.

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