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Introducing the Porter & Security Team

Our Porter and Security team play a vital role at the university, providing expert, immediate and effective support to many students. They’re a friendly face on campus and are always happy to help staff and students alike. They are, simultaneously, first aiders, welfare staff, security, mediators, counsellors, key-holders, drivers, support staff and exceptional ambassadors for the University of Chester. As a result of their outstanding work, they’ve recently been awarded the Student Experience Award at the Educate North 2017. We decided to catch up with Malcolm Bate, Team Leader for the University Porter and Security team, to find out more about his role and what strange things he has encountered on campus patrols!   

What is a typical day at work for you?

“No day is ever the same. We have our regular duties to carry out, but that can change at a moment’s notice with just a single phone call!”

What is your favourite part of your job?

“I really enjoy that we get to meet so many new people from all over the world, and that the role is so varied. I started the job in 2007 and was promoted to Team Leader a few years later along with 3 of my colleagues, Andy, Alan and John. Together we now manage 4 teams of 4, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We’ve seen a few changes over the years and still love doing the job we do.”

Do you have any exciting upcoming projects?

“We’ve got to plan and prepare for the Open Days coming up in October, we do this well in advance to ensure the day runs smoothly.”

What has been your proudest moment whilst working at the university?

“One of my proudest moments was going to the Educate North Awards at The Hilton in Manchester to collect the Student Experience Award won by the Porters team. This year, I also represented the University at The House of Lords, attending a ProtecEd event which is a national organisation who are setting standards to protect students in various ways while they are at university.  Another moment which sticks in my mind, is when a student thanked me for some advice I’d given him a couple of years previously, he took it on board and had recently graduated.”

Tell us something not everyone may know about your role?

“Not everyone knows what we do. It is a very varied role, anything can crop up at a moment’s notice. Our busiest times are usually between 2am to 5am.”

What happens when you do a campus patrol?

“Our patrols can be either on foot on campus, or in our vehicle off campus. Sometimes nothing happens or sometimes we come across all sorts of things, lost property, cars left running, people needing directions or people needing first aid. It changes from day to day.”

What is the weirdest thing you have come across?

“We've dealt with so many weird things over the years. A funny thing happened recently when a member of the public randomly turned up at the lodge early one morning after a big night out in town and was asking for our help. He was lost, wasn't from the area and had also lost his phone. We found his friends on Facebook, messaged them and later they sent us a video of him arriving back at their house and climbing in through a window.”

You’re always on hand in an emergency, what colour is your cape?

“The colour of our capes would definitely be Hi-Viz!”

Choose a movie title for the story of your life.

“Not sure of any one specific film title, but it would definitely be some sort of a comedy as I do like a laugh, it would also be football themed as I'm a Chester FC season ticket holder, some would say that comedy and Chester FC are closely connected.”

If you could have a superpower what would you choose?

“My superpower would be to be able to eat as many pies as I want, but not put any weight on.”

 How would you summarise your Chester Story?
“My job at the university is by far the best job I've had. I still enjoy coming to work, helping the students, working with some great people and meeting so many people from all over the world.”

Any final thoughts?  

“Soon it will be the time to welcome the new intake of students, it's always a bit hectic for the first month or so but we've seen it many times before and I hope to see many more.”

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Clearing 2019

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