Go into many shops, cafes and other premises around the county and the chances are you will see the ‘Keep Safe’ logo. It started as a small group of 10 memory clubs in the Cotswolds. Now, it has more than 1100 shops and businesses signed up and its network reaches throughout the county.
‘Keep Safe’ is one of over 470 schemes supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Fund since it launched in 2012.
It is also one of 73 projects whose contracts were renewed in the latest funding cycle which has just drawn to a close alongside 27 new ones which include:
- A Community Safety Partnership scheme to address ‘hidden harm’ in the Cotswolds like stalking and sexual violence
- All Nations UK, Gloucester, which is supporting vulnerable young people at the risk of falling into crime
- The Door, Stroud, which is expanding its youth support work in Stonehouse
- Cheltenham Borough Council’s ‘Child Friendly’ project, part of a year of action to make sure ‘no child is left behind’.
- A Community Safety Partnership project in Tewkesbury targeting anti-social behaviour and
- Forest Upcycling which works with PCSOs in the Forest of Dean to identify people at risk of crime in their home.
PCC Martin Surl says, “These are just the latest outstanding examples of how community groups and organisations have embraced new opportunities offered through the police and crime plan.
“Some are new schemes; others have benefited from a helping hand and are now running under their own steam and fully self-sufficient.
“I have always believed that local people are the best people to come up with answers to problems in their own neighbourhood. The Commissioner’s Fund is evidence of the tremendous community spirit that exists in Gloucestershire”.
Safe spaces for vulnerable people in our communities
‘Keep Safe’ started in 2010 as a partnership involving a number of bodies including Gloucestershire County Council, the Police and the NHS. In September 2013 the PCC commissioned Memory Clubs UK – a community interest company – to develop and expand the scheme. It now provides support to around 11,400 registered members with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, autism and dementia across the county.
Director Teresa Hemingway says, “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.
“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”.
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.
A full list of Commissioner’s Fund projects, and details of how to apply can be found here.