Safe Places Shropshire has signed up Riversway Elim Church on Lancaster Road in Shrewsbury as its 400th Safe Place.
Each Safe Place pledges to assist anyone who is vulnerable, who may come to them asking for a telephone call to be made for a carer/relative to come and fetch them. It is such a simple scheme, but one that can make a profound difference for someone in difficulties.
The charity works alongside Shropshire Disability Network (SDN) to provide short term safe havens for anyone who might feel vulnerable while out and about in the community.
Originally developed by Mencap, the charity for People living with Learning Disabilities, the scheme was introduced to Shropshire streets in 2013. Craven Arms welcomed the initiative, with over 20 Safe Places being signed up within a few hours. Since 2013, the team have visited nearly all the market towns in Shropshire.
Ruby Hartshorn, Chair of SDN said “This initiative is so important for any one of us who might become vulnerable at any time in our life. Recognising the logo in the window of a shop, café, supermarket or library is the first step to knowing that someone can and will help you. It is such a comfort to a parent or carer to know that their loved ones can go shopping and can find help easily, should it be required.”
Elim Church is based on the outskirts of the Harlescott housing estate is in one of the bottom three percent of deprived areas in the country, and is an important asset to the community. It has become a job club where people can access computers and the internet to look for work etc and acts as a food bank, distributing food left over from Tesco’s supermarkets.
Reverend Phil Briggs recognises the importance of creating Safe Places. He said: “Elim would like to be recognised as a Safe Place as that is exactly what we are trying to be with all the facilities we offer. We cater for people from all walks of life and from deprived communities. Staff are DBS checked and we have all necessary safeguarding policies in place.”