Safe Place Scheme Worthing
West Sussex County Council and Sussex Police have recently launched a Safe Place Scheme in West Sussex.
At last night’s Broadwater Neighbourhood Panel meeting, Gary Capelin of West Sussex County Council gave us an interesting talk about The Safe Place Scheme. Gary has worked with people with learning difficulties for 25 years and explained how their lives have changed dramatically. Many people with learning difficulties have lived in institutions for much of their life and within a short time they have had to learn how to live as part of society. Inclusion is a good thing Gary says, the problem is that the public have not been properly educated on how to include diversity and therefore, people with learning disabilities face prejudice and social barriers throughout their lives. The Safe Place Scheme has been launched to help people with learning difficulties to find safety if they are feeling vulnerable.
What is the Safe Place Scheme?
The Safe Place Scheme aims to help people with learning disabilities across the county who feel they are being bullied, abused or harassed while they are out and about.
West Sussex County Council is looking for ‘safe places’, such as restaurants, shops and pubs. These safe places are being asked to place an easily identifiable sticker in their window. That way, people will know where there is a safe place if they feel threatened and need help. The safe places are carefully vetted by West Sussex County Council.
Vulnerable people with learning difficulties who join the scheme carry a Safe Place identity (ID) card. They can show this to the staff of participating shops and businesses. The card will carry that person’s name and the contact number of someone they trust. If a vulnerable person who is a member needs help, they will present their ID card to the manager or staff at the safe place.
Do you know someone in Broadwater and Worthing who has a shop or restaurant who could participate? All participating venues have to do is:
Call the person’s contact number – or, if they have been the victim of a crime, the Sussex Police non-emergency number (101); and offer them a safe haven until help arrives or their concerns have been addressed.
If you would like to find out more about the Safe Place Scheme, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/safeplace.
You can find out more about people with disabilities at: www.learningdisabilities.org.uk