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Helping Hand is on Hand

24 July 2015 | Updated 01 January 1970

A pioneering scheme designed to help vulnerable members of the community has been given support by the facilities management company, Incentive FM. 

 The Safe Place Scheme helps people with learning disabilities, mental illness, dementia and other conditions by providing them with somewhere to go to and get help immediately if they are out and about and feel scared or at risk.

The Safe Place Scheme was the brainchild of the South Devon and Dartmoor Community Safety Partnership. The project aimed to stop bullying and abuse of adults with learning disabilities across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The idea has spread to other areas of the country, backed by police and local councils as well as other interested groups, including local voluntary and community sector groups.

As part of the scheme, Incentive FM will provide a ‘safe area’ at a number of the shopping centres that it manages throughout the country. These will be identified by the distinctive ‘Safe Place’ signage and open to those who find themselves in any challenging situations. Incentive FM’s staff will be trained on how to provide help and reassurance which may involve making 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 will also keep the vulnerable person safe until the situation is resolved.

The scheme has been successfully piloted at St Stephen’s Shopping Centre in Hull and is now being introduced throughout Incentive FM’s business with Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre in Sheffield next to go through assessment and training. 

“This is a great initiative which has the backing of the local police forces and mental health charities,” said Glenn Wilson, Regional Director, Incentive FM. “We believe that companies like ours have a duty to take a strong role in the communities we operate, offering support where we can. We need to ensure that every single guest, regardless of their circumstances, has the best possible customer experience while visiting one of our venues.”

Picture: Incentive FM is introducing the Safer Place Scheme throughout the places it manages, including St Stephen’s Shopping Centre in Hull

Article written by Cathryn Ellis | Published 24 July 2015


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