“Help vulnerable people – and boost the economy”

Bucks has launched a Safe Place initiative for vulnerable people
Bucks has launched a Safe Place initiative for vulnerable people

Businesses in Bucks are being called upon to help vulnerable people and their carers by joining up to a scheme which offers them a safe haven in their hour of need.

The ‘Safe Place’ initiative is designed to support people who find themselves in challenging situations when out and about in the county.

The idea is that they can seek help and support in a shop or inside a company building when needed.

Businesses taking part will be given a sticker to put in their window to show they are prepared to help out.

The Safe Place programme is co-ordinated by Buckinghamshire County Council’s Community Safety team with support from Thames Valley Police, district councils and local voluntary organisations.

Martin Phillips, the county council’s cabinet member for community engagement and public health, said: “Buckinghamshire is generally a very safe place to visit but occasionally there are times when vulnerable people and their carers will find themselves in some sort of difficulty.

“Our aim is to give them a safety net so they can feel confident when visiting our towns that there is always someone on hand to give them support if they feel picked on in any way or if they feel disorientated for any reason.

“I would urge all businesses to sign up to the scheme. It’s easy to get involved and not only will it help the vulnerable members of our community, it will also boost the local economy by giving more people the confidence to visit and shop regularly around the county.”

The scheme requires participating businesses to place a sticker in a prominent position in the window. Vulnerable people will be told about the Safe Place initiative and some will carry a card which shows their name and the name and phone number of their trusted person.

If a vulnerable person seeks help, members of staff would be expected to make a phone call where necessary to the trusted person on the card, where carried, or to one of the numbers on an emergency contact list provided to the premises. They would also reassure and keep the vulnerable person safe until the situation was resolved.

If you own a business or you are interested in joining the scheme contact the District Council Community Safety team most relevant to you:

Aylesbury Vale: 01296 585014 - communitysafety@aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk

Wycombe District: 01494 461000 - community@wycombe.gov.uk

Chiltern and South Bucks: 01895 837220 - communitysafety@southbucks.gov.uk

The Safe Place scheme currently operates in the following areas: Aston Clinton; Aylesbury Town Centre; Buckingham; Burnham; Beaconsfield; Chalfont St Peter; Chesham; Gerrards Cross; Haddenham; Wendover; Wing; Winslow; Waddesdon.