Businesses urged to sign up and be Safe Places

Businesses in Leeds are being asked to help make sure people with learning disabilities have a safe place to go anywhere in the city.

Leeds City Council’s Safe Places project was launched just over a year ago with the aim of helping adults with learning disabilities cope with any distressing incidents when they are out and about in their communities.

Places that sign up for the scheme are fully trained up by people who have learning disabilities themselves.

Once that training is over, the venues are given a Safe Places sticker to display in their window, letting those with learning disabilities know they can go inside for support if and when they need it.

A string of council-managed buildings, including all of the city’s libraries, sports centres and museums, have already signed up to the free scheme, with more than 100 venues now taking part.

Organisers now want more private sector venues to come forward and help make the city as safe as possible for some of its vulnerable residents.

Carol Benson, Leeds City Council’s Safe Places co-ordinator, said: “More than 200 people have already signed up to be members of the scheme.

“People with a learning disability tell me they feel safer now because they know there are places they can go if they need help whilst out and about in Leeds.”

Adults who join Safe Places receive a distinctive wristband and an emergency contact card.

The card has space for them to write down details of up to three of their emergency contacts, who staff at participating venues will get in touch with when they are approached for help.

More than 200 people in Leeds with learning disabilities are currently taking part.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for Adult Social Care said: “The Safe Places scheme has been operating since last summer now and in that time, it’s been encouraging to see the growing number of places around the city that have become designated places where adults with learning disabilities can go if they get lost, are being harassed or become distressed for any reason.

“It’s important that people with learning disabilities feel able to live their lives as independently as they possibly can.

“But, to enable them to do that, it’s equally important that they also know they have a safe place to turn to if something happens that they might find difficult or distressing.

“I would urge as many businesses as possible to sign up for the Safe Places scheme and help to make Leeds a city where every resident feels safe.”

The Leeds Safe Places Scheme is led by Leeds City Council Adult Social Care in partnership with West Yorkshire Police and Leeds and York NHS Partnership Foundation Trust.

Safe Places schemes are being launched up and down the country, with the aim of creating a network for vulnerable people.

The first Safe Place in Leeds was launched at the city bus station in June 2012.

Businesses interested in taking part in the scheme should e-mail: safeplaces@leeds.gov.uk telephone 0113 378 1919 or write to Leeds City Council Learning Disability Community Support Service, Roseville Skills Building

65 Roundhay Road Leeds LS7 3BQ.


For more details, contact:

Stuart Robinson

Communications Officer

Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 224 3937

Email: stuart.robinson@leeds.gov.uk