Voluntary Action Lewisham held the first of four Networking and Safeguarding Champions Events on behalf of the Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Board, (LSAB) on Thursday 17 October. The rich and informative, well-attended event attracted up to 50 people from a range of agencies including older people, carers, disability, LGBT groups and statutory partners.
The events aim to:
1. Increase the network of people in Lewisham linked to the work of the Safeguarding Adults Board and its partner agencies, developing the ‘whole community approach’ to the prevention of abuse and neglect
2. Provide an opportunity for meaningful engagement and an important opportunity to generate detailed feedback on how the Board should shape its work
3. Encourage attendees to take up the role as Safeguarding Champions in the Borough
4. Promote the development of the Safe Place Scheme in Lewisham.
Each event is being planned to coincide with key national campaigns linked to the subject of adult abuse. This week’s event was delivered to support National Hate Crime Awareness Week, a priority issue locally in Lewisham.
Here’s a short personal reflection from Bridget Chin who volunteered at the event.
Blog by Bridget Chin, volunteer at Voluntary Action Lewisham
The combined organisations of VAL (Voluntary Action Lewisham) and LSAB (Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Board) produced a richly informative, well-attended event.
Following a round of coffee and biscuits and an encouraging welcome speech by Barbara Gray, Mayoress of Lewisham, the event unfolded smoothly as overseen by Lillian from VAL and her small team. The speakers were diverse, the audience was happily engaged, and the message was delivered and concluded with a provided lunch.
Hoarding, self-neglect and abuse in all their different manifestations were explored in depth and with much audience input. Information was presented in a variety of forms, from documentary excerpts to carer speeches, personal narratives and a facilitated discussion. Opportunities to network were generous through the span of the event.
Input from Tara Duffy, Hate Crime Co-ordinator at the Met Police, added another layer to the information presented, as did speeches from Sarah Erlacher, Lead Operational Manager for Neighbourhood 3 and Kelleigh Wooderson-Hudson from TABs (). Martin Crow from LSAB discussed the Safe Place Scheme and its introduction to London, while Lillian’s transitional speeches made the whole event seamless. The message of awareness was delivered with constant, repeated reference to practical caring and preventative strategies to remember and implement.
Praise for the event was warm and centred on the message-carrying impact of the personal stories told during the session. In particular Oliver Candy from Lewisham Speaking Up, whose narrative on ‘What does ‘good’ look like?’ explored his personal experiences with financial abuse. His story was moving, which made the message it carried a hard one to forget for his audience.
The general consensus was that the event was informative and enlightening, with most attendees remarking on the thoroughness with which the topic of Adult Safeguarding was explored from different angles. One commentator mentioned her intent to “disseminate this information among colleagues and friends”, while another spoke of how it had made her determined to “add a section on adult safeguarding to her website”. Many voiced their intent to attend more events by VAL and LSAB in future, as well as pledging their interest in becoming a Safeguarding Champion or a participant in the growing Safe Place Scheme.
The next Networking Safeguarding Champions Event will be held on Tuesday 4 February 2020 at the Mulberry Centre. Located in Neighbourhood 1 the event will include a focus on Domestic Violence Awareness Week. To find out more email email@example.com