Inclusivity

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000

Description

People with a learning disability living in the London Borough of Greenwich have said that they can feel scared, intimidated and unsafe when out in the community and that they do not know where to go for help if they need it. Research has found that 9 out of 10 people with a learning disability have experienced bullying and abuse, half have experienced verbal abuse and almost 25% have been physically assaulted.

There are nearly 5,000 people in Greenwich Borough with a mild to moderate learning disability and there are likely to be around 1,000 who have a severe or profound learning disability.

The Safe Places Team, supported by Advocacy in Greenwich, is a group of adults with a learning disability who, with funding from the Mayor’s Office, have begun to set up a 'Safe Places' scheme in Woolwich.

'Safe Places' are places in the community, such as, shops, cafes and libraries, that sign up to the scheme and display a sticker in their window to show people with a learning disability that they are a 'Safe Place' if they need help. People with a learning disability carry a card with emergency contact information. If something happens when they are out and about and they feel unsafe and need help they can easily identify the ‘Safe Place’ by the window sticker and go in and get help. The Safe Places Team will train staff in the Safe Places in learning disability awareness and what to do when someone asks for help. The team have developed the training pack.

The team are working with local police and the Greenwich Safeguarding Adults Board. The local police are helping us to promote the scheme to shops and other potential Safe Places. All the Fire Stations in Greenwich Borough have already agreed to become Safe Places and a number of shops in Woolwich are signed up to the scheme. The team now want to roll this out to include Greenwich, Eltham and the rest of the Borough.

The funding will pay for the packs and cards for people with a learning disability, the packs and window stickers for the Safe Places and the room and staff support for the Safe Places Team to meet and work. It will enable the team to train staff in Safe Places so that they know what to do when someone asks for help. People with a learning disability will be paid the London Living Wage when they are delivering the training. The team will promote the scheme to people with a learning disability and to potential Safe Places and monitor existing Safe Places. The team will make a film to promote the scheme.


Why vote for 'Safe Places?'

All people with a learning disability are people first with the right to lead their lives like any others, with the same opportunities and responsibilities, and to be treated with the same dignity and respect. People with a learning disability can be isolated and scared to access the community as they do not feel safe.

"We want to set up Safe Places because people with a learning disability feel unsafe and become isolated."

"It can help people with a learning disability feel safer and not nervous and they can go somewhere when people are nasty to them."

“People don't go out enough because they don't feel safe. Safe Places makes people feel safer."

“Knowing there are Safe Places makes us feel encouraged to go out and feel safer in the community.”

As well as creating Safe Places for people with a learning disability in Greenwich this project will help develop the skills and confidence of the Safe Places Team members and provide them with paid work when they are delivering the training. The team will share their skills and knowledge with other boroughs and have already been asked to present to people with a learning disability who want to set up a similar scheme in Lewisham.

Advocacy in Greenwich

Location: London

"Setting up Safe Places has been a big achievement. We are very proud of ourselves for doing something for other people with a learning disability in our community. It will help people feel safer when they go out. We are making a change, we are making a difference and we are making things better."
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