Ensuring vulnerable residents stay safe

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East Renfrewshire Council has joined forces with Police Scotland and I Am Me Scotland to become involved in the award-winning national Keep Safe Campaign.

The initiative works in partnership with a network of local businesses and public services to create ‘Keep Safe’ places in the community for disabled, vulnerable, elderly or anyone feeling lost, confused, scared, in danger, or have been the victim of a crime.

Aiming to ensure people feel safe and can enjoy day-to-day activities when participating in community life, ‘Keep Safe’ helps those in need to seek assistance, and reassurance in a safe and welcoming place. Disabled and elderly people can show their Keep Safe card which details information such as emergency contact details and health concerns to help the businesses provide the best means of support.

Councillor Colm Merrick, Convener for Community Services and Community Safety and also chair of Cabinet Fire and Police, said: “I am delighted that East Renfrewshire Council and Police Scotland are again working in partnership together with local businesses. This initiative will help ensure that our vulnerable people can enjoy ordinary day to day life and activities free from fear. It is intended that it will be rolled out across East Renfrewshire in the coming months”.

Organisations wishing to take part in the initiative and successfully meet the training requirements are provided a Keep Safe sticker to display in the window of their premises.

By doing so, they are instantly recognisable and able to let local people know that they can provide a safe place.

East Renfrewshire has eight fully signed up I Am Me Keep Safe premises: Voluntary Action Barrhead, Country Feeds Barrhead, The Foundry Barrhead, Customer First East Renfrewshire Council Barrhead, Customer First East Renfrewshire Council Eastwood Park, Mearns Library, Clarkston Library and Giffnock Library.

A further five premises are currently going through the training process and will be fully accredited over the coming months.

Kirsty Lafferty, owner of Country Feeds, said: “I am proud to be part of this programme and able to help offer vulnerable people a secure place they can go to feel safe. By using the app, local people can find their nearest Keep Safe place and directions on how to get there.

“I hope that more businesses become involved to help encourage more people to feel able to get out in their local area”.

If a business wants to sign up to become a Keep Safe place they should visit www.iammescotland.co.uk to receive a criteria form to complete and send to Police Scotland who will check that their premises are suitable.