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Volunteers learn to spot signs of safeguarding issues

Published 27th May 2020 by Shaida Khan

Nearly 150 of Calderdale’s amazing volunteers have taken part in training to help them support vulnerable people as much as possible during the COVID-19 crisis.

Thanks to their incredible kindness, volunteers are providing valuable help to residents across the borough in a variety of ways, from delivering shopping to providing a listening ear. Calderdale Council will say a special thank you for their efforts during national Volunteers’ Week (1 – 7 June).

As people stay at home to protect the NHS and care homes and save lives, it is more important than ever to look out for each other, know the signs of possible safeguarding issues and report anything that doesn’t feel right. We all have a part to play.

As volunteers are important ‘eyes and ears’ in our communities, they have received virtual training to spot when residents might benefit from extra support if they are experiencing any safeguarding issues.

Calderdale Safeguarding Partnerships have delivered three training sessions on Zoom for volunteers, covering what safeguarding issues are, the warning signs to look out for, the importance of speaking up and how to report concerns. Volunteers also have ongoing access to safeguarding awareness training through e-learning and supporting materials.

Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:

“I’m really pleased that the training sessions have had such a good take-up. Our volunteers are in touch with residents across the borough every day, and thanks to the training, they know what to do if they see or hear something that doesn’t seem right.”

The training comes as a new regional partnership and website have been launched to help families who are having relationship difficulties.

Disagreements and arguments are normal, especially at this time of increased tension during lockdown, but if they are becoming a problem then help is at hand. ‘Relationship Matters’ is a new partnership between Calderdale Council and 14 other local authorities across Yorkshire and the Humber to support families.

The partnership has launched a website giving information and tips to stay calm, work out what needs to happen and recognise the signs of conflict affecting individuals and their loved ones. It also gives advice on how to get further support. Visit www.relationshipmatters.org.uk

Cllr Swift said:

“Research shows that regular conflict can have a big impact on individuals, their relationships with loved ones and their children. I urge anyone who is struggling to get support.”

Relationship Matters focuses on relationships where the situation is mostly respectful, equal and cooperative, but where there are some difficulties. If you are concerned about controlling / coercive behaviour, violence or fear (domestic abuse) and need non-emergency advice, you can contact Calderdale Staying Safe confidentially on 01422 323339 for emotional and practical support, or visit here

If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the Police. If you are in danger and unable to talk, call 999 from a mobile, wait, then press 55.

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