Saxmundham: Town joins scheme to help more vulnerable feel safer in public

East Suffolk market town Saxmundham

East Suffolk market town Saxmundham - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk town has become the latest to adopt a county-wide scheme created to help more vulnerable people feel safer in their community.

Saxmundham’s ‘Stay Safe’ scheme is designed to support young people who are victims of bullying, people with physical, sensory or learning disabilities, people with mental health problems, older people, or those who may feel anxious when out and about in public areas.

Anyone in need of help can go into a shop or business with a Stay Safe sticker in the window. They may find somewhere to sit quietly or phone someone to come and take them home. If there is a serious incident, they can phone the police. Meanwhile, Stay Safe cards list vital personal information which enables the community to help when needed.

The Stay Safe scheme is co-ordinated by the Suffolk Hate Crime Service but run in partnership with other county-wide organisations such as the Suffolk Constabulary, The Dementia Project, Realise Futures and Leading Lives.

In Saxmundham, Leading Lives and local social enterprise PASTEL have worked together to recruit and train selected local businesses including Crisps newsagents, The Co-op Pharmacy, Saxmundham Library, MacDonalds Electrical, Nicks Hairdressers and Tesco, with another six in the pipeline. The town council has also backed the scheme by providing some local funding to pay for Stay Safe window stickers and cards.

Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s public protection chief, said: “I am very pleased that PASTEL, Leading Lives and Saxmundham Town Council have supported the development of the Stay Safe Scheme. Stay Safe is open to anyone living or travelling through Suffolk who may feel vulnerable and need support. We are grateful to all those premises who have already agreed to participate in the scheme and support people living in their community if it is needed.”

The scheme started in Felixstowe and has so far been rolled out across 17 towns and villages. It is hoped that by the end of 2013 there will be Stay Safe Places in every town in Suffolk.

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Anyone wanting a Stay Safe Card can contact Suffolk Hate Crime Service on 01473 668966 or