Learn more about support to keep you safe this National Safeguarding Adults Week

Today is the start of the National Safeguarding Adults Week which Healthwatch Essex is proudly supporting.

Healthwatch Essex recently released research in collaboration with the Essex Safeguarding Adults Board (ESAB) which explores challenges around making safeguarding personal for Essex residents. Working with the ESAB, Healthwatch spoke to over 50 people who have experienced safeguarding in the county. They shared stories relating to their attempts to seek support when they were most in need.

Healthwatch Essex found that people who had been involved in the process did not fully understand the term ‘safeguarding’ and therefore did not fully benefit from the systems and people in place to protect them. On a more positive note Healthwatch heard accounts of where professionals had gone the ‘extra mile’ to join things up and make the process meaningful and personal. People often spoke of having a positive working relationship with their social worker once the service had been accessed.

Read the two reports which collate the experiences and makes some recommendations for change including producing clear and accessible information for the public: ‘555 Report 2018 and ‘Making Safeguarding Personal – Report 2′.

During this year’s National Safeguarding Adults Week (18 to 24 November), the ESAB are encouraging Essex residents to improve their understanding of some of the big adult safeguarding issues that agencies tackle in Essex.

National Safeguarding Adults Week was launched in 2018 by the Ann Craft Trust, who used a week in November to raise awareness of safeguarding adult issues.

This year, ESAB will be promoting and highlighting information on where people can access help and support for themselves, family members and friends who may be experiencing abuse.

Over the seven days, seven different safeguarding issues will be explored with seven one minute vlogs, based on true stories of real people from Southend, Essex and Thurrock. The films will show the crisis point of the individual’s stories, and focus on particular issues including neglect, gangs and modern day slavery, online abuse, homelessness, financial abuse, informal carers and domestic abuse.

A range of local services will be promoted over the week including Social Care, Essex Police, Mencap, District & Borough Council homeless services, Trading Standards, Carers First, Thurrock Carers Service and COMPASS.

Elliott Judge, Detective Superintendent, Essex Police said: “Essex Police are pleased to be able to support this campaign. The Essex Safeguarding Adults Board is a key partnership forum for many of the priorities within the Essex Police Crime Prevention Strategy and this week provides a great opportunity to highlight seven key safeguarding issues. Essex Police will be playing its part with initiatives including focussing its ‘Street Weeks project’ in Basildon on this important issue. ‘Street-Weeks’ are a coordinated proactive, door-to-door community engagement opportunity that seek to gather local intelligence, support multi-agency interventions and look at opportunities to heighten awareness around adult safeguarding.”

Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care said: “We have all heard some of the terrible stories. Making sure information and advice is easily and readily available is hugely important – knowing where to get hold of that support can make all the difference.”

The awareness week will also see ‘pop up’ stalls around the county and an Essex Police led ‘Street Week’ taking place in Basildon. Members of the public will have the opportunity to watch the short films, receive helpful campaign resources and ask any safeguarding related questions that they may have. The campaign leaflet which can be taken away or printed online, includes advice, support and contact information for local services.

Follow the campaign on: Twitter @SafeguardEssex and Facebook The Essex Safeguarding Adults Board. Visit the campaign webpage at www.essexsab.org.uk/NSAW2019