The Gloucester group of people receiving support from reach, formed in August 2016 and is made up of eight people who receive support in the Gloucester area.
When the group first got together it was clear to see they were a very focused and determined group of individuals who have a real passion for making a difference to their own lives and those of people around them. They drove the forum themselves from day one which was a pleasure to watch. So, when it came to preparing the agenda for their October meeting, Phil and Alice, whose job it was to prepare the agenda for the next meeting, were very keen to invite the local Community Police Officer along to talk about how people can keep themselves safe from abuse such as hate crime and mate crime.
The Community Officer Jane, spent a great deal of time talking to the group about how to stay safe and the group themselves really benefited from it especially as a few of them had personal experiences to draw upon. They really engaged with her and the talk really benefited them as they recognised that there were areas where they had been putting themselves at risk.
Each of the members of the group now carries a “Keep Safe” Card.
The Keep Safe Scheme in Gloucestershire was set up in July 2010 to support people with learning disabilities in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Stroud and the Forest of Dean. The card identifies safe places where assistance can be sought when required. Members nominate two people as emergency contacts and carry a Keep Safe membership card bearing the contact numbers. If a member should need help while they are away from their home environment they have only to look for the Keep Safe logo in the windows of shops and businesses that have signed up to the Scheme. Staff in the shops provide assistance by telephoning the contact numbers shown on the person’s Keep Safe card. Businesses that register to be a Safe Place receive appropriate briefing for their staff in disability awareness, dementia awareness and communication skills.