Council endorses safeguarding campaign

National Safeguarding Adults Week 2020 and homelessness. Pic: Age UK Isle of Wight

National Safeguarding Adults Week has been officially recognised in Lewisham after a motion was presented by Labour Councillor Chris Best, during their last meeting.

The National Week aims to create discussion and raise awareness on key adult safeguarding issues such as abuse, exploitation, and hate crime.

It is organised nationwide every November and works alongside charities, regional police forces, social care, sports organisations and several councils.

What is it?: Created by the Ann Craft Trust, the National Safeguarding Adults Week takes place every year on the third week of November. Each day is dedicated to one crucial safeguarding issue. This year the themes were wellbeing, adult grooming exploitation, understanding legislation, creating safer places, organisational abuse, safeguarding adults in sport and safeguarding in your community. To engage those who want to participate, the association creates online materials including articles, podcasts, free seminars, tips list, videos, and toolkits. They also create social media content, encouraging people to use their hashtags to spread the word.

Cllr Best underlined the value of the Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Board at the meeting, where she said: “Here in Lewisham, we have a well-respected independent chair who lead our safeguarding adult board.”

“[Chair of the board] Michael Preston-Shoot is exceptional, particularly on the safeguarding adult reviews, bringing in many agencies together to determine what we could have done differently or what may have prevented harm or death from taking place.”

“We are proactive, our practice are person-centre and outcome focus,” said Best about the work done at the LSAB. By operating in partnership, the board aim to battle abuse or harm by researching areas of concern, and applying preventative measures.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for Lewisham to show leadership in the area” said Councillor Best. The Council and The Safeguarding Adults Board will now work alongside local authorities and organisations to get everything in place.

“Currently, the Department of Health and Social Care does very little to promote the week, which I think is incredibly disappointing given how important those issue are,” said Best. The council plans to pressure the department of health and social care to help adopt with this week of awareness.

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