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Region Safeguarding Officer Report

Region Safeguarding Officer – February Meeting 2021

Since my last report I have had no cases to advise or help.

I have previously stated that I was involved in a working party reviewing SIGBI policies.

The Regional Safeguarding Officers on the Safeguarding Working Party requested that as well as Regional Safeguarding Officers that Clubs should have a Safeguarding Link/Lead person. This is to facilitate the task of creating awareness of safeguarding to every member of our Federation and is hopefully due to be implemented this year.

Each club in the Region would have a safeguarding lead who would receive advice and support from the Regional Safeguarding Officer. The Clubs would identify a Soroptomist who has a working knowledge and understanding of safeguarding.

The Safe Spaces scheme, run by the UK charity Hestia, has been operating in Boots pharmacies for many months. The adoption of the scheme has enabled survivors of domestic abuse to access the support they need in a timely manner. There is another scheme launching namely the Ask for ANI scheme. This has been developed to provide a way for survivors of domestic abuse to receive immediate help from the safety of their local pharmacy.

ANI is a codeword that stands for Action Needed Immediately and provides a way for victims to discreetly tell pharmacy staff that they need their help to either call the police on 999 or contact specialist services. The role of the pharmacy team is to offer a quiet space for survivors of abuse and support them to call the police or a helpline. It enables the pharmacy team to signpost the survivors of abuse to organisations that are set up for this purpose.

I have certainly welcomed the introduction of the above as the pandemic and lockdown has affected so many people especially those suffering abuse and I felt it important to inform the Region of the involvement of pharmacies during this time.

There is also an app called “Bright Sky” which can be downloaded onto mobile phones and this gives a wealth of advice, resources and helplines.

It remains for me to wish all our members a Happy, healthy, prosperous and safe 2021.

Barbara Myers