In 2019, we marked Safeguarding Awareness week by holding lots of local events across the county and a large conference in Harrogate for over 300 frontline safeguarding professionals. Health, social care, police, third sector and a range of other agencies who work in North Yorkshire and York took part in a day that was exciting, informative, inspiring, moving and challenging.
In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, Safeguarding Awareness Week 2020 will be very different. All our communications, information, conversations and promotional material are online this year. We will be using social media and our websites to highlight real and important safeguarding matters which affect communities and individuals across North Yorkshire.
Some things are constant, however. Colleagues from different sectors, agencies and professions; those who work with children and young people, and those who work with adults and communities; those who work in all the different parts of North Yorkshire have come together (virtually) and planned an exciting, informative and inspiring series of promotions and campaigns. Our themes reflect our overriding principles, that we are better together in working to support those who are vulnerable to risk or harm, and that safeguarding is everybody’s business.
Over the coming week, each day we will highlight a key area of abuse or risk and some of the terrific work that is going on to address and support those who need it most. Despite the challenges of the pandemic and lockdown, some people do not feel safe and are not safe in their own homes or communities and there are those who wish to exploit and further harm other who may be isolated, vulnerable and worried.
We will highlight how to raise concerns about abuse or the risk of abuse, and using the hashtag #TellUsYourConcerns will aim to raise awareness and understanding of the nature of the safeguarding risks in all our communities, even now.
Each day, we will highlight a particular theme.
Monday, we consider domestic abuse and ways to support those who are not safe in their own homes;
Tuesday, we look at the rising concern about online abuse, and financial scamming;
Wednesday, we will look at work to address radicalisation and how the agencies use their Prevent activity to reduce the risk;
Thursday, we look at the issue of drug trafficking, County Lines and ‘Cuckooing’; and
Friday we will consider the safeguarding risks for mental health and physical wellbeing.
Each day, information will be available for those who work in safeguarding roles and for concerned members of the public. Everything will be available to download at our website.
Across this county, every one of us should be able to feel safe in our homes, schools, places of work and in our communities. We should be able to fulfil our potential, feel confident and thrive. There are many professionals, who work across different agencies whose job it is to keep us safe. We are enormously grateful to them all, especially in these difficult times. However, each of us as citizens also have a responsibility to keep an eye out, to look out for our families, friends, neighbours and those we don’t know in our communities; to report any concerns about abuse to the agencies (999 in an emergency, or 01609 780780, if not in immediate danger) and to work together to keep us all safe from harm or the risk of harm.
By reporting abuse you can bring it to an end. Together, we can stop abuse.
Safeguarding is everybody’s business
Dr Sue Proctor