Members of Wolverhampton’s Safeguarding Adults and Children Boards will highlight what people can do to help someone who they are worried may be at risk from abuse and neglect during Wolverhampton Safeguarding Week, which begins today (Monday 17 June).

A number of awareness raising events are taking place throughout the week, and people are being encouraged to Stand Up and Speak Out if they have any concerns at all that someone is being abused – please use the hashtag #WVStandUpSpeakOut to get involved on social media.

Activities include a pop up shop offering advice and information in the Wulfrun Centre on Thursday and Friday between 12pm and 2pm. Members of the safeguarding teams from Safeguarding Board partners will be on hand to speak to shoppers and also talk to people on a one to one basis about any concerns they may have.

Other events include a Safeguarding Week awareness raising introduction at Interfaith Wolverhampton’s Bring and Share lunch at Darlington Street Methodist Church tomorrow (Tuesday) at 12.45pm, and the launch of Wolverhampton new Faith Map on Friday.

The map provides a single source of information about all of the city’s places of worship, which also provide a vast array of activities, volunteering opportunities and support to people in Wolverhampton.

The Faith Map has been developed from the Safeguarding In Faith initiative  funded by Wolverhampton Safeguarding Boards and led by Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council and Interfaith Wolverhampton, and features more than 250 different faith groups.

Throughout the week, Wolverhampton Safeguarding Board partners including health services, schools, care homes, faith groups, emergency services, housing associations, voluntary and community organisations, and the City of Wolverhampton Council will be raising awareness with the people who use their services through conversations, school lessons, activities and displays.

The Safeguarding Boards will also be using its social media channels twitter and facebook to highlight key messages throughout the week, including around financial abuse, private fostering, neglect and self neglect, homelessness, how to report a concern and staying safe online.

Linda Sanders, Independent Chair of Wolverhampton’s Safeguarding Adults and Children’s Boards, said: “Safeguarding is everyone's business, and wider community engagement, beyond the roles of statutory agencies, is very important.

“Wolverhampton Safeguarding Week is an opportunity to highlight the role we all have to play in helping keep vulnerable people safe in our city.

“Everyone who lives and works in Wolverhampton has a vitally important role to play in raising any concerns they have for the safety or wellbeing of any adult with care and support needs or a child or young person so that they can live their lives free from abuse or neglect. 

“The public’s role in raising concerns is essential and complements and supports the work of the Safeguarding Board partners who are all committed to keeping vulnerable people in our city safe from abuse and neglect.”

Abuse is mistreatment by any other person which violates the victim’s human and civil rights. It can happen anywhere – at home or in residential care, hospital, in the workplace, at a day centre or educational establishment, in supported housing or in the street – and can include physical or sexual abuse, psychological or emotional abuse, financial abuse like theft or fraud, exploitation and neglect.

Councillor John Reynolds, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "Our teams work very hard protecting vulnerable people who are at risk of abuse – but they also need the help of members of the public to identify people who may be vulnerable."

Councillor Linda Leach, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, added: "We want people to Stand Up and Speak Out – to know what to look out for, and know how they can go about reporting any concerns they may have – so that agencies can provide the right support at the right time."

Anyone who is concerned that someone they know is either being abused, or may be at risk of abuse, is asked to call the City of Wolverhampton Council in confidence as soon as possible. For concerns relating to children and young people, please call 01902 555392, while if the concerns relate to adults, please call 01902 551199. Out of hours, call 01902 552999. In an emergency, always dial 999. 

For more information about the work of the Safeguarding Boards, please visit Wolverhampton Safeguarding.