North Yorkshire’s Safeguarding Week highlights the need to #TellUsYourConcerns

#TellUsYourConcerns is the message coming from organisations across North Yorkshire as they get ready to support this year’s Safeguarding Week (22-26 June)

Young boy looking out of window

The Safeguarding Week campaign is being supported by the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (NYSCP), North Yorkshire Safeguarding Adult Board (NYSAB) and the North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership (NYSCP), working with the equivalent partnerships covering the City of York area.

Safeguarding means working together to stop abuse and prevent it happening in the future – everyone has a right to live a life that is free from abuse and neglect. The aims of the week are to emphasise that everyone has a role to play in spotting the signs of abuse, encourage the public and professionals in all walks of life to be aware of the many forms abuse can take, and what to do if they are worried about someone.

The campaign highlights the risks to children, young people and adults across the county and provides information on where issues can be reported, along with information about keeping friends, neighbours and relatives safe, too.

Because of the lockdown, people across the county may not be seeing professionals or have social support structures in place as they usually would.

That’s why Safeguarding Awareness Week is emphasising that safeguarding is everybody’s business and any concern should be reported.

This week is important to help to raise awareness of the positive work being done by many agencies across the county in order to support those people who need us the most. It is also an opportune time to raise awareness about issues such as domestic abuse, scamming and mental health and point people in the direction of how and where to report concerns. 

We want everyone to be able to recognise the different types of abuse and for people who have experienced abuse, or if someone they know has experienced abuse, to be confident to report it and seek the necessary help and support.

The hashtag #TellUsYourConcerns will be used throughout the week.

In North Yorkshire, there will be a different theme each day seeking to highlight a different area of concern.

  • Monday will look at domestic abuse and the forms it takes, both physical and emotional.
  • Tuesday will look at keeping safe online and forms of online abuse such as frauds and scamming.
  • Wednesday will look at radicalisation and extremism.
  • Thursday will be focused on county lines and cuckooing
  • Friday will be looking at mental health and wellbeing.

Dr Sue Proctor, Chair of North Yorkshire’s Safeguarding Adults Board (NYSAB), said: “Safeguarding Week 2020 has taken on extra significance due to the unprecedented circumstances in which it is taking place.

“Abuse and harm can take many different forms and the fact many people have been at home during the lockdown could amplify the opportunity for such harm to be inflicted. It’s so important to reiterate to everyone how to identify someone who may be at risk, but also what to do with that information and the importance of highlighting it.

“Safeguarding is everyone’s concern and could have a long term impact.”

NHS North Yorkshire CCG Chief Nurse Sue Peckitt said: “North Yorkshire CCG recognises the importance of protecting all individuals’ rights to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. 

“We are proud to work in partnership with other organisations to raise awareness of safeguarding issues during national Safeguarding Week, and at all times. Now, more than ever, safeguarding is everybody's business.”

Margaret Atkinson, Chair of North Yorkshire’s Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (NYSCP), said: I welcome Safeguarding Week, even if we can't gather in one place and learn from each other face to face. This year, perhaps more than ever, we are focused on safeguarding being a shared concern.  Every resident of the city of York and the county of North Yorkshire, certainly everybody who works with and for children, families and communities, jointly holds the responsibility for ensuring children and young people are as safe and secure as we can make them. This is active, not passive or waiting work. This week is a great opportunity to make sure we are all still connected, all taking safeguarding on as our shared community responsibility, and all still learning and sharing, reflecting and renewing our resolve.  Book in the time.  Remake or solidify the connections.  Recommit. We owe it to ourselves, to each other, and to the communities we serve. Have a great week!”

Dr Justin Ives, Chief Executive of Hambleton District Council, said: “During safeguarding week, strong connectivity between Safeguarding Boards and Partnerships and Community Safety Partnerships is paramount to ensure a number of clear and consistent messages are shared with both our partners and our communities.  North Yorkshire Community Safety Partnership has a number of key priorities, including domestic abuse which can impact on all services, whether working with children, adults or families. An effective and joined up approach is needed with regards to the provision of support and services across the county and city of York. Safeguarding week demonstrates how working together in partnership is essential.

Sarah Hill, CEO of IDAS – the Independent Domestic Abuse Service – said: “During this incredibly challenging time when victims of domestic abuse have been isolated with perpetrators it is more important than ever to raise awareness about the services that can provide support.  Safeguarding week provides a great opportunity to spread awareness and we would ask anyone who is worried about themselves, a family member or a neighbour to contact IDAS for advice.”

Detective Superintendent Allan Harder, Head of Safeguarding for North Yorkshire Police said: “Safeguarding week is a valuable opportunity for all the agencies involved in keeping people safe in North Yorkshire, to come together and raise awareness about the services and support they offer and how people can access and engage with it.

“This year’s key message is that ‘safeguarding is everyone’s business’ and is supported by an appeal to the public of North Yorkshire to be vigilant and look out for one another and tell us their concerns.

“We’ve recently been through some very tough times, with the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. But one thing this virus has shown us is the depth of the community spirit we have here in North Yorkshire and how we all pull together and look after each other, in times of need. Safeguarding week echoes the same theme. But rather than fighting a virus, we’re asking the public to stay alert to the signs of violence and abuse or drugs and criminality. Policing in North Yorkshire relies on strong relationships with our communities; we cannot do what we do without the support of the public.

“So if you believe someone is under threat or in danger, or at risk of becoming a victim of fraud or radicalisation, or someone is in mental health crisis – please reach out and make contact with police, your local council or a local specialist charity and tell us your concerns.”

If you are worried about a child, young person or adult telephone North Yorkshire County Council Customer Service Centre on 01609 780780 and #TellUsYourConcerns

This story was published 19 June 2020