Providing a safe haven

A NEW initiative has been launched in North Somerset to provide safe havens for people with learning difficulties.

In Nailsea, Clevedon and Portishead, businesses and associations have been asked to put forward their premises as places vulnerable people can go to for help if they find themselves in difficulty. They will then be able to stay there until a carer or family member is contacted.

The Safe Haven scheme has been launched by a partnership between the towns’ police teams and North Somerset Council’s community team for people with learning difficulties following a successful pilot in Weston.

Portishead-based PCSO Chea Scandrett said: “This is a good opportunity to assist vulnerable adults within the community providing a safe shopping environment within the town’s stores.”

Businesses taking part in the project will display a green sticker to show it is somewhere people can go when they find themselves in a difficult situation, such as if they are lost or being harassed by other people.

In Clevedon, the premises already signed up include the baptist church in Queens Square, the library in Old Church Road, most of the town’s charity shops and Arnett’s Cosy Kitchen in Old Street.

In Portishead, the library in Harbour Road, Waitrose in Station Road, The Co-operative in Wyndham Way, Iceland in The Precinct and Budgens, McColls and Costa Coffee in High Street are all taking part.

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In Nailsea, members of the police are currently working on building a list of premises that will participate.