A Mansfield-based security company, believed to be the only one in the country run by women, has been recognised for its remarkable progress against the odds.
Heart Security, operated by Marie Tracey and her two daughters, Rianne and Alex Tift, was named as one of the finalists at the Enterprising Women awards overseen by the East Midlands Chamber.
The firm, launched in 2012, was shortlisted in the small business of the year category, further enhancing its growing reputation within the Mansfield area.
“It was a real boost because it has been a long, hard slog in what is a male-dominated environment,” said Marie, 48.
“We have had a lot of difficulties along the way, and there were times when I thought I wouldn’t have a house to live in!
“But we have worked really hard, 24/7, and thanks to our constant commitment, it is going very well now.”
Including Marie, 26-year-old Rianne and 22-year-old Alex, who are all directors of the company, Heart employs 24 staff and boasts a host of high-profile clients, including Portland College and Mansfield Building Society.
All the staff hold SIA (Security Industry Authority) licences, and the firm offers a wide range of security services for industrial and commercial businesses.
These include locking and unlocking premises, manning gatehouses, responding to alarms, door supervisor work, managing storage trailers, concierge work, ad hoc work for hospitals and even collecting stray dogs.
“We try to be flexible and not to put all our eggs in one basket,” said Marie. “The security industry is very competitive, so we like to be client-led. We concentrate on customer-service and do what the customer wants us to do to make their lives easier.”
Marie’s experience in security stems from the jobs she had earlier in her career, both in site management and supported housing, which included work in a hostel for ex-offenders.
It was still a brave call to set up Heart six years ago, but one that is now paying rich dividends.