Leading emotional support charity, The Samaritans, installed the Better Indoors Active PIV ventilation solution at its branch in Reigate, Surrey, to ensure volunteers can continue to support callers whilst reducing the risk of catching COVID-19.
Part of the local community since 1964, Samaritans’ Reigate branch is one of over 200 branches across the country. The incredible efforts and dedication of Samaritans volunteers meant the charity was able to maintain its 24/7 service since the first lockdown in 2020, with volunteers across the UK and Ireland clocking up more than one million hours listening to those struggling to cope.
Since the start of the pandemic, Samaritans Reigate has been applying strict guidelines with regard to hygiene standards and social distancing. In recognising the importance of maintaining its levels of caller support through a team of over 90 listening volunteers, Samaritans Reigate requested the help of local HVAC and Air Sanitation expert, Better Indoors, to implement enhanced health and safety measures beyond the capabilities of official COVID mitigation guidance. The Active PIV solution was installed, which combines mechanical ventilation that increases air changes with Active Air Purification technology, that continuously eliminates harmful viruses and bacteria, including SARS-CoV-2 at the point of emission throughout the entire workplace.
Using no chemicals or harmful substances, and requiring virtually no energy, the Active Air Purification technology works by replicating Earth’s natural air cleaning processes indoors. It does this by producing and maintaining ambient concentrations of ionised hydroperoxide molecules throughout the indoor air space. When these active molecules come into contact with microbials, they instantly break them down and destroy them and then revert to harmless water vapour and oxygen. The technology produces 1 quadrillion hydroperoxide molecules every second, quickly killing any airborne virus or bacteria, including COVID-19.
To ensure complete coverage of the building, a multi spigot ducted system was installed on the ground floor covering all of the compartmented spaces including the client waiting area, together with a loft mounted system covering the first-floor open plan office.
Completely safe for people to work and live around, the Active PIV solution provides continuous 24/7 protection without disrupting productivity or negatively affecting energy efficiency – one of the serious consequences of increased ventilation air changes that seriously impacts our Net Zero ambitions.
Andrew Hobbs, Founder and Director of Better Indoors confirmed:“We are delighted and honoured to assist The Samaritans Reigate whose forward thinking leadership wished to create the safest possible indoor environment for their volunteers and visitors. Our retrofit solution increases fresh air change rates and our integrated active technology creates an extra layer of continuous point of emission protection that is simply not possible to achieve with HEPA filtration or GUV processes.
Kevin Siggery, Branch Director for Samaritans Reigate, added: “Safety is our first priority. As essential workers, our volunteers continued to work under difficult conditions, where, to maintain fresh air ventilation, we often had to leave windows open, even through the coldest nights, to mitigate any risk of stale and potentially infection-carrying air. Whilst we recognise the need to rigourously follow Covid precautions, this is an important step in caring for volunteers so that they are there, in turn, for our callers.”
Originally invented in the late 1990s, the Active Air Purification technology has been independently verified for safety and efficacy by nationally accredited independent labs and testing bodies. Studies include the “sneeze test“, which proved the 3 foot instant elimination zone and 99.9%+ inactivation of a wide range of highly infectious viruses and bacteria including COVID-19, SARS, H1N1 or ‘Swine Flu’, Norovirus, MRSA, Bird Flu just to name a few.
Originally founded in 1953, Samaritans is now supported by over 20,000 volunteers, across 201 branches UK wide.