Huhne launches Borough’s “Safe Places”

Safer-Places-Scheme-HampshireEastleigh’s MP, Chris Huhne, has announced on his website that he has launched the Borough’s Safer Places Scheme, at a recent event in Netley.

The Safer Places scheme provides places for vulnerable people to go if they have a problem whilst out and about. Participants now extend across the whole Borough and include local Town and Parish councils, shops, leisure centres, supermarkets and the Wells Place Centre in Eastleigh.

As Pauline Spiers, the Safer Places Co-ordinator for Eastleigh Borough and Romsey Mencap Society, explains;

“ The scheme provides vulnerable people with a safe place to go into if they become scared, lost or upset while out and about in our communities.”

“Individuals wishing to use the scheme carry a Safe Place card which gives their name and the telephone numbers of two contacts. They may remain in the Safe Place until they are collected, or regain their confidence.”

“The Safe Places Staff have been trained how to help the individual and the organisations taking part are identified by the Safe Places sticker showing the Safe Place logo.”

If you want to join the scheme, just pick up a card, complete  it and keep it with you at all times, in your purse or wallet perhaps.

The first Safer Place scheme was piloted in Devon and Cornwall by the South Devon and Dartmoor Community Safety Partnership. The idea was developed by other Councils in England before being piloted within Hampshire (in Basingstoke and in Portswood, Southampton)  in 2011.

The scheme was subsequently rolled out in other parts of Hampshire and after some fund-raising by Eastleigh & Romsey Mencap, which allowed a map of the safe places in the Town Centre to be printed, was launched at a ceremony at The Point in Eastleigh on 24 April 2012 by Cllr Wayne Irish, when he was Mayor of Eastleigh…

Chris Huhne says;

“Safer Places is about assuring some of the most vulnerable in our community that there are places they can go and ask for help when they are out and about in the Borough.”

“It can make a real difference to the quality of life for many with learning difficulties and other reasons to feel vulnerable.”

“Now they know that they can go into 58 places across the borough and present their card saying that they need help.”

” I hope that many more businesses and organisations will sign up to make this new scheme just as much of a success as some of the other innovative ideas that Eastleigh has tried out.”

“A civilised society is measured by the extent to which it cares for those who need help”,

Chris Huhne has explicitly thanked the work of Pauline Spiers from the Eastleigh and Romsey Mencap society, for setting up the scheme, and all the volunteers who have made the launch a success.

Safe Places cards are now available at the Civic, Parish and Town Centre offices in the borough as well as from One Community. The scheme is also operating in Alton, Andover, Basingstoke, Eastleigh Borough, Gosport, Havant, Hart and Winchester as well as parts of Southampton.

Ray Turner

Formerly a Civil-Servant and IT Specialist at ONS, Ray is now semi-retired and spare-time self-employed. He contributes to Eastleigh News on a voluntary basis and is also an administrator for the site.