The NHS and two private organisations have signed up to the council¿s Safer Places scheme to provide refuges for people in distress across the city.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has worked in collaboration with Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust to introduce the scheme in five community hospitals of North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
The hospitals are:-
• Haywood Hospital
• Longton Cottage
• Bradwell Hospital
• Leek Moorlands Hospital
• Cheadle Hospital
The Safer Place Scheme and disability awareness programme will also be extended to all Health Centres across the population of Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.
Marks & Spencer in City Centre and 16 Lloyds Pharmacies throughout the area have also joined the scheme aimed at helping those with learning disabilities.
The scheme, launched last year, sees Stoke-on-Trent City Council team up with other organisations including Staffordshire Police and 21 Co-operative Food stores throughout Stoke-on-Trent, provide places where people with a learning disability can go if they feel threatened, bullied or harassed while in the city. They can also obtain help for any issue which makes them feel vulnerable or anxious.
Clients who sign up to the service receive a Keep Safe card which has the contact numbers of two people who can be called if they need help and also the number of the local police. They receive a list of the organisations who have signed up to the scheme so that when they are in the city and need help they can identify a shop or business where they will be welcomed and supported.
Businesses provide a safe, temporary refuge for clients and telephone any of the contacts on the person’s Keep Safe card. If neither of the person’s contacts can be reached necessary, the police can be contacted.
Organisations which join the scheme receive learning disability awareness delivered by the city council.
Shops and organisations which offer help are recognised by a sticker which is displayed on their premises. People with learning disabilities who have signed up to the scheme just need to go into the premises and show their card to obtain assistance.
Councillor Olwen Hamer, cabinet member for adult social care, health and commissioning, said: “Making vulnerable people feel comfortable and safe in our city is a key priority to helping improve their standard of living and in turn making them more independent.
“I’m incredibly pleased that so many organisations have joined this worthy cause and signed up to offer their assistance. Having the likes of the NHS, Marks & Spencer and Lloyds Pharmacy join the ranks will hopefully help encourage others to follow.”
Safer Places forms part of the city council’s Mandate for Change by promoting independent living, helping to make Stoke-on-Trent the best place to live and work, by encouraging people with learning disabilities to go out into the community, secure in the knowledge that help is available if necessary.
For more information please contact community development workers for the fulfilling lives team Kerry Summerfield or Tracy Wright on 01782 236174 or 01782 236510 or email email@example.com. For more information visit www.stoke.gov.uk/community.
The full list of organisations previously signed up include:-
Stoke-on-Trent City Council:-
• Shelton Day Service
• Portland House
• Newstead Day Service
• ABLE Project
• St, John's Welcome centre
• Libraries - City Central, Bentilee, Haywood, Kingsland, Longton, Tunstall, Stoke
• Local Area centres
• One Stop Shops
• Sports facilities
Staffordshire Police (Stoke-on-Trent area)
Staffordshire Fire & Rescue (Hanley, Sandyford and Longton Community Fire Stations)
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
21 Co-operative Food stores throughout Stoke-on-Trent.
The Potteries Shopping centre
Whitfield Valley Community centre
St. John’s Community centre, Trent Vale
A similar scheme is also being operated throughout Staffordshire called Citizenship Watch.
For all media enquiries contact Steven Kennedy in the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232987.