A scheme to help vulnerable residents across the county is being promoted during Learning Disabilities week which runs Monday 20th to Sunday 26th June 2016.
The Safe Place scheme, which has run for the last 5 years in Buckinghamshire, is a partnership between Buckinghamshire County Council, Wycombe, Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern and South Bucks District Councils, Thames Valley Police and many local voluntary organisations.
By enlisting the help of local businesses and organisations the scheme provides a safe haven for vulnerable residents when they are out in their communities. The scheme provides reassurance to vulnerable people and their families and carers so that they have a safe way to alert someone of a potential risk or emergency if they are out alone.
Many of the existing safe places are restaurants, smaller local shops, chemists or libraries, all familiar places to many vulnerable people. Staff will be provided with very easy training to enable them to assist if someone asks for help and are supported by the Community Safety team. Sometimes, it might be something as simple as providing a quiet place to sit down and calm down or giving directions to the bus station if someone has become lost or confused.
The Safe Place scheme has helped when people have become separated from a family member/carer, got lost whilst out on their own or are feeling scared or upset. The vulnerable person may just be feeling confused or distressed. Often staff will be asked to call someone the vulnerable person trusts so that they can give the vulnerable person the relevant advice or come to collect them.
Safe Places are easily identified by their scheme sticker which is usually placed in a front window or on the main door. You can find a list of the current Safe Places on our website www.buckscc.gov.uk/safeplace.
To support your community and become involved in the Safe Place scheme please visit www.buckscc.gov.uk/safeplace. Buckinghamshire County Council would like to see many more Safe Places available to vulnerable residents and for them to be able to feel safe and supported in their communities and across the whole of the county.
Martin Phillips, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, is keen to grow the scheme even further ‘By introducing the Safe Place scheme we are encouraging and supporting vulnerable residents to be more independent whilst their own communities are providing a valuable support network. We would like to see more businesses signing up so if you want to be part of the Safe Place scheme, do get in touch.‘