Harry Wearing
By Harry Wearing

Senior Staff Writer

13 November 2020

| | 3 min read

Community

Sign the pledge and help protect Newcastle residents

Partner agencies across Newcastle are calling on everyone to do their bit to keep the vulnerable people in their community safe, reaching out to family and understanding the impact of lockdown on mental health.

Safeguarding Week 2020
Safeguarding Week 2020

As part of Safeguarding Adults Week 2020 Newcastle Safeguarding Adults Board is supporting residents to understand their role in safeguarding vulnerable residents in their community during the pandemic.

Safeguarding is everyone’s business and agencies across Newcastle have prioritised protective work throughout the pandemic, keeping adults safe from abuse and neglect and providing education to partner agencies who are supporting individuals.

Since the initial lockdown, referrals to Newcastle City Council have increased spikes in reports related to self-neglect, mental health and domestic violence. Many of these increasing risk factors and mental health pressures are a result of the negative impact of lockdown measures, social-isolation and pressures on families and communities.

Councillor Karen Kilgour, Cabinet member for Health and Social Care said,

“Lockdown restrictions are essential to protect everyone in our city, however we know they can have a negative impact on people’s mental health, put them under pressure and sadly, sometimes at risk from abuse and neglect.

“Our Safeguarding Adults Board and partner agencies have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to support any individuals or families at risk. They have responded to every safeguarding alert they have received and continue to work closely with victims of abuse and neglect.

“We all have a role to play in protecting vulnerable people in our communities. Online safeguarding training is available through the Newcastle Safeguarding Adults Board however, a simple phone call to a neighbour to check in on them or a video chat with a friend could make a huge difference to an individual’s wellbeing. Every connection counts and helps us to make Newcastle an increasingly safe and respectful city.

“Throughout this pandemic everyone in our city has shown incredible spirit, compassion and generosity and we must continue to look after each other, to talk about our worries and raise issues with agencies when we have concerns.”

Members of Newcastle Adult Safeguarding Board discussing safeguarding during the pandemic. 

Safeguarding during COVID

Newcastle Adult Safeguarding Board has created three pledges to help residents understand their own role in protecting vulnerable people and  is asking everyone ‘What can you do to help keep someone safe?’

The pledges include –

  • Give a vulnerable family member or friend a ring to have a chat and check they are ok – social isolation and loneliness are increasing risk factors for people, not only in domestic violence cases and neglect but overall mental health and wellbeing.

  • Complete some online training – Newcastle Safeguarding Adults board has free, accessible courses on its  website.

  • Share safeguarding messages on social media, at work and in your community – especially how and when people should report any concerns.

Newcastle Safeguarding Adult’s Board is supporting the Ann Craft Trust campaign ‘We all have a responsibility to be there for each other, and to look after each other’. The Ann Craft Trust campaign will focus on individual themes throughout the week.

If you are concerned about a safeguarding adults issue, or feel that someone needs protection you should call 0191 278 8377 or 0191 278 7878 out of normal office hours. If the situation is an emergency call 999.

Support is available for anyone who is self-isolating or is socially or clinically vulnerable via the Council’s CityLife Line service. Visit www.newcastle.gov.uk/citylifeline or call 0800 170 7001, lines are open Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm and Saturday 8am to 3pm.

Further information, guidance and training is available on the Newcastle Adult Safeguarding Board webpages, the pages also contain specific safeguarding and coronavirus guidance.

You can also follow the Safeguarding Adults Board on Twitter - @newcastle_sab.

 

We all have a role to play in protecting vulnerable people in our communities. Online safeguarding training is available through the Newcastle Safeguarding Adults Board however, a simple phone call to a neighbour to check in on them or a video chat with a friend could make a huge difference to an individual’s wellbeing. Every connection counts and helps us to make Newcastle an increasingly safe and respectful city.

Councillor Karen Kilgour

Cabinet member for Health and Social Care

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