National Safeguarding Adults Week is from November 16th- 22nd, so this is some early notice. The web-link below can give you a flavour of what it’s about and its wider purpose. One of the key daily themes is concerned with developing safe spaces and so there is a link here with our own Methodist Church agenda that all our churches are safe places for young and old alike.
Despite this quite uncertain time, and wondering what our communities will look and feel like in mid-November, it’s still important to recall that referrals to local authority Adult Safeguarding Services are now considerably higher than they were this time last year. Sadly, domestic abuse, neglect and financial scams are major growth areas, and there has also been a surge in mental health referrals.
So National Safeguarding Adults Week could be that hook upon which to hang a (probably) on line event to raise awareness about adult safeguarding in our churches. This column has often noted that churches are pretty well placed to spot concerns about vulnerable adults in local communities, so making sure we polish our twitching antennae and have a good idea about how best to recognise, respond and refer would seem a good plan. The website can supply resources to help you think about such an event as can, of course, our own Methodist Church Safeguarding pages.
Look out for more information and ideas in this column over the coming weeks. Local authorities and the NHS will also be aiming to publicise the week and what it aims to achieve so keep an eye out in your local media. In the meantime, stay safe.