Tackling domestic abuse, mental health, forced marriage and providing awareness on protecting children and victims of human trafficking are all topics covered as part of West Yorkshire’s Safeguarding Week.
Starting Monday (June 25), until July 1, all the local safeguarding boards and community safety partnerships across the region have joined forces with West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson and West Yorkshire Police (WYP) to hold workshops and events aimed at informing the public and professionals about how to protect the most vulnerable across the region.
Representatives from across all of the organisations will be speaking out on social media through short video clips, explaining what safeguarding means to them.
A website, funded by the PCC and developed by Calderdale Council, with schools and partners, will also go live this week. The Healthy Relationships Resources website is an online resource library that all schools can access about Healthy Relationships. Calderdale Council has worked with schools and partners to develop the new resource which will provide an easy to use website that provides access to a range of resources about healthy relationships, enables schools to score the resources and make recommendations for new ones to be added.
Mr Burns-Williamson said:
“Safeguarding remains ‘everyone’s business’ and I am delighted once again to be supporting partners in raising awareness, whether that is a public consultation event, online resources or training for professionals around protecting our most vulnerable. I am looking forward to attending various safeguarding events and highlighting the crucial role we all play in keeping people safe and feeling safe.
“Schools also have a critical role in protecting children and I am pleased to be able to fund the Healthy Relationships website that will pull all the resources available to schools in one place. Victim Support are also now taking referrals for those aged 18 and under so I would urge any victims of crime or witnesses to access support at www.victimsupport.org.uk(external link).
“I would urge people to get involved and contact their local authority to see what is on offer in their area for them to get support this week, to learn about protecting themselves and others, and above all know the services are there for them when they need them.”
Kirklees will be holding events aimed at tackling domestic abuse and safeguarding vulnerable children, while Bradford will launch the week on Monday with an event from 10.30am to 12noon at Holmewood Connect showcasing work by residents making their community safer.
In Bradford, a public consultation event at Manningham Mills Community Centre to consult on the Safeguarding Adults Board three year plan takes place on Wednesday 27 June from 10am to 2pm.
In Leeds the week is hosted by Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership with Safer Leeds and Leeds Adult Safeguarding Board, and support from partners from across the city.
Throughout the week events and training sessions will be held covering a wide variety of safeguarding topics aimed at professionals who work with children or adults to improve their overall understanding of some very complex issues affecting society today.
Calderdale is offering a programme of events and workshops for professionals. They are also out and about speaking to the Calderdale public including a stall at Brighouse Gala (30 June) and open days at the Better Lives shop in Halifax (25 – 29 June) around the theme ‘speak out about the unspeakable’.
In Wakefield, building on the success of the event last year there will be two multi-agency and voluntary sector public engagement events which will take place in Wakefield city centre on Monday (25 June) and Castleford town centre on Friday (29 June). Members of the public are invited to come along and discuss any issues informally and find out what resources are available.
Learning and development opportunities for staff and volunteers working with vulnerable adults and children will also take place and Children’s Centres will be holding interactive family events covering topics such as safety in the home and how to keep your family safe when faced with the many challenges we all have from day to day.
Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson, of West Yorkshire Police, said:
“Safeguarding the public is at the heart of everything we do as the police. Our officers and staff deal with people on a daily basis who are at their most vulnerable and we work closely with local authorities, other organisations and charities to support victims and other people affected by crime.
“The activities during Safeguarding Week are just a snapshot of the partnership work that goes on day in day out to safeguard vulnerable adults and children in the region. I would encourage members of the public to get involved in the events taking place in their area which offer a fantastic opportunity to find out more about the part they can also play in protecting themselves and others by raising awareness and reporting any concerns they may have.”
Edwina Harrison, the Independent Chair, of Wakefield and District Safeguarding Children Board, said:
“For the past seven years Safeguarding Week has been an established part of the calendar and this year is another excellent example of how the five areas of West Yorkshire come together to show what they do to safeguard children and adults so that everyone can learn from each other.
“In doing so they also want to engage the public in understanding what they can do to help. By sharing the most up to date information among those who have the job of protecting the public on the frontline on our behalf.”