It started as a small group of 10 memory clubs in the Cotswolds. Now, ‘Keep Safe’ has a 1000 businesses signed up and its network reaches throughout the county.

They provide a safe haven for more than 6,000 of Gloucestershire’s most vulnerable people who carry the Keep Safe card.

The Cirencester branch of the Halifax today became the 1,000th signatory. Branch manager Robert Lewis said,

“Halifax Bank are delighted to be supporting Keep Safe. All five branches in Gloucestershire have signed up because we want to support our communities we work and live in.

“If you know of any vulnerable people please get them to register in this very worthy scheme.”

‘Keep Safe’ was set up in 2010 as a partnership involving a number of bodies including Gloucestershire County Council, the Police and the NHS. In September 2013 The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire Martin Surl commissioned Memory Clubs UK – a community interest company – to develop and expand the scheme.

It is one of more than 100 schemes underwritten by the Commissioner’s Fund and now offers support to more than 6,000 registered members with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, autism and dementia across the county.

Keep Safe Director, Kelly Hennessey-Ford, said,

“Our aim was to build and broaden the scheme and with the help of the Commissioner we continue to do that. Since he pledged his support, we have been able to recruit many of the big chain stores and high street names – the Halifax is the latest.

“They are all training their staff in adult awareness and their premises display the Keep Safe logo so that people who are vulnerable know that inside is a place where the people will keep them safe from harm and abuse”.

Mr. Surl said,

“If we are to make Gloucestershire an even better place, we have to think of how we safeguard the most vulnerable members of society. Ultimately we’re trying to encourage stronger and more inclusive communities where everyone can feel safe and welcome.

“Keep Safe is an outstanding example of how community groups and organisations have embraced new opportunities offered through the police and crime plan”.

Anyone can register as a member of Keep Safe, which identifies safe places where help can be sought when required. Keep Safe users carry a card with their details and an emergency contact number which can be shown to specially-trained staff at shops and businesses displaying the Keep Safe logo.

If a member needs help while they are away from home, they have only to look for the Keep Safe logo in the windows of shops and businesses that have signed up to the Scheme where staff are trained to come to their aid.

Anyone interested in registering with the scheme should email info@keepsafeglos.org.uk or register online at www.keepsafeglos.org