Written by Jean Roberts-Jones, Chief Executive at One Community
As Chief Executive of a medium size charity part of my job covers being responsible for all safeguarding aspects within our organisation. This covers how we work with clients as well as what we see when working with people.
Of course, I delegate some of those day to day tasks to front line managers but I need to feel confident they know what to look for and what to do next. There is also an issue in that One Community often puts on training for voluntary sector organisations, as well as our own staff. This means that we need to make it appropriate for groups such as lunch clubs or social groups who may have concerns about a client as well as traditional care settings. Ultimately however, I am responsible. So this week I attended a refresher course provided by PACT (Partnership in Care Training), part of Hampshire County Council.
It was an excellent two day course and included many helpful case scenarios which made it real. In the group discussions we were able to think through how you would implement the key principles of safeguarding to ensure our individual staff, as well as ourselves, know what to do and when.
They also covered fire safety and the role of trading standards officers which added a different dimension to those at risk. Instantly, we think about smoke detectors and rogue traders at the door but the firefighter asked us about where people keep their door keys so they can get out in a hurry? What about letters arriving saying you have won £50,000 all you need to do is send a cheque for £500 to register so they can send you the money?
One Community often invite Trading Standards staff to come and address older people’s groups so people are aware of the dangers. Sadly, during every session I have attended there has been one member of the audience who knows someone who has been a victim.
Often people are reluctant to raise a concern because they don’t feel confident about what to do next. Hopefully all voluntary organisations have clear pathways to follow but if you are not sure, Hampshire County Council have a helpline with consultants available to talk through any aspect of concern on 01962 833666. Follow the link on www.hampshiresab.org.uk which gives useful information about is abuse and who may be affected.
No-one wants to say “if only I had…..”