Stay Safe Scheme
Staying Safe in the Community film was paid for by a grant from Suffolk Foundation.
The Stay Safe Scheme has been running in Suffolk for a while now with the first Stay Safe Places located in Felixstowe in June 2011. A lot of development has taken place since that time and this update is to inform you of where we are now and plans for the scheme in the future. The scheme is now co-ordinated by Suffolk Hate Crime Service but supported by a large number of organisations across the county.
Stay Safe Places
We continue to increase the number of Stay Safe towns across Suffolk. Currently there are a number of Stay Safe Places in Felixstowe, Sudbury, Stowmarket, Needham Market, Eye, Newmarket,Woodbridge and Ipswich. There are also organisations that have agreed that all of their premises are to be Stay Safe Places and these cover a wider area within the county. Currently Leading Lives and Realise Futures have agreed that all their premises are Stay Safe Places. We are currently in discussions with a number of larger retail outlets about all of their stores joining the scheme. This will give us a greater coverage of Suffolk but will also help to publicise the scheme.
Each town has been approached in a different way to meet the needs of the area but also the groups who are interested in being involved. For each town it is important that consultation with community groups takes place prior to the scheme being rolled out. These have taken place within Day services, youth groups, People First events, community engagement events, college fresher’s fairs and on a variety of other occasions.
In Sudbury, Disability Liaison Officers from Sudbury Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) have been actively involved in setting up and managing the scheme. They have regular contact with vulnerable people living in the town and also the business premises that are signed up to Stay Safe.
In Stowmarket, the local SNT invited the Community Inclusion Facilitator (CIF) and Stay Safe coordinator to a Shop watch scheme to introduce Stay Safe to local businesses. Following this meeting the team went into town to speak to individual shops, supported by a local volunteer, to invite them to join.
Woodbridge Town Partnership emailed all the businesses in the town encouraging them to be part of the scheme. A number responded positively within a day and a Hate Crime Officer visited the town and provided the paperwork to the shops involved.
Ipswich has recently commenced the scheme with a small number of shops already participating in the scheme for the last year. Within one day a number of clients from Papworth Trust visited local premises accompanied by Hate Crime Officers and invited them to become part of Stay Safe. There was very positive feedback from both the premises and the volunteers involved.
Stay Safe Cards
A limited number of 1500 cards were initially produced. The aim of the scheme was for people to have access to the cards on a number of websites and for them to download the cards for themselves.
Over the last year we have found that when the card is explained to people they wish to take away a card immediately and not to download it themselves. It is also a better quality card with a plastic wallet, which is provided for them and so looks more professional.
A further 5,000 cards were recently printed and are currently being distributed across the county to public buildings, day services, youth groups and others interested in promoting the scheme. It is encouraged that groups only maintain a small stock of cards so that we ensure stock is distributed and not stored on a shelf.
Awards & Recognition
We were extremely pleased to have received a commendation from the High Sheriff for the Partnership of the Year Award in March 2012. Not only did it recognise the vital role of all the partners in promoting this scheme but gave us some additional publicity.
The Stay Safe Scheme in Suffolk is also receiving recognition outside of the county with a number of agencies, community safety partnerships and Police forces contacting Suffolk Hate Crime Service for advice on setting their own schemes up. It is also recognised that other areas have previously focused on Adults with Learning Disabilities whereas for Suffolk any person who feels vulnerable is encouraged to participate. This approach is now being considered elsewhere in the country.
We were recently nominated for the National Diversity Awards in part for our work with Stay Safe and whilst we didn’t reach the final we did have an invitation to attend the event inManchester. This again provided an opportunity to promote Suffolk Stay Safe Scheme across the country.
There are a large number of people and organisations to thank but the following give a flavour of the support the scheme has achieved across Suffolk:
Young Voices Youth Parliament
A big thank you has to go to the Youth Parliament who originally brought the scheme to the attention of the agencies involved and have monitored the scheme ever since.
We are extremely pleased that Realise Futures have recently offered to produce our new stock of cards and stickers as their contribution to the scheme. This has provided us with a much needed replenished stock and also promotion of the scheme through their community cafes, work placements and client base.
Leading Lives, who have been involved from the initial stages when they were still within Suffolk County Council, continue to support the scheme across the county. All of their Community Hubs are now displaying Stay Safe stickers and will be holding Stay Safe cards for distributing in their areas. Community Inclusion Facilitators also support in approaching premises in their areas to become involved and encouraging clients to identify Stay Safe premises.
Papworth Trust, Museum Street, Ipswich
Papworth Trust has displayed a Stay Safe Sticker for a year, after a request from the clients prior to the scheme launch inIpswich. A number of clients visited local premises to invite them to be part of the scheme and also gave a presentation to their peers both atMuseum StreetandFoundation Street. Currently they are volunteering for the scheme by placing cards into wallets and bundling them up. This has released a large amount of time from the Hate Crime Service who had been doing this work.
ACE, Optua, Orwell Mencap Genesis and The Befriending Scheme
All these agencies have been influential in promoting the scheme across Suffolk and inviting in agencies to speak to their clients. Without their support and encouragement we would not have achieved the successes so far.
Needham Market Town Council
When approached about the scheme they were extremely positive and agreed to be the first Stay Safe Place in Needham Market. They have agreed to promote the scheme in the town and hold a stock of cards for residents to be able to have access to.
Suffolk Safe Key is currently planning a pilot project, which would involve a joint working of the Safe Key and Stay Safe. They will be promoting the scheme to all those they come into contact with and working in partnership with Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society to ensure the vulnerable people they work with have access to the scheme. After an evaluation of this pilot it is anticipated that the scheme will then be rolled out across the county.
A number of large chain stores are currently considering becoming involved in the scheme, which would give us a greater distribution across the county.
Community Safety Officers across each of the district and boroughs are also currently informing staff and distributing stickers to their front line offices to display.
Further regular updates can be found on Suffolk Hate Crime Service website at http://www.suffolkhatecrime.org.uk/stay-safe-card-scheme/ We are currently looking at having a face book page for Suffolk Stay Safe Scheme to promote the scheme widely across the county. If anyone is willing to support with this please let us know.