Mary Stevens Hospice has become the first organisation in Dudley to have all its services, including retail stores recognised as ‘Safe Places’ for members of the community who may be vulnerable. Chief Executive Officer Stevan Jackson and Diversity and Inclusion Project Lead Gemma Allen explain the scheme.
At Mary Stevens Hospice we are committed to providing services for people with incurable, progressive, life-shortening illnesses and their families. To help us generate the £3 million we need every year to deliver services we currently operate over 20 shops around the borough. We are delighted to announce that the hospice and our shops have all been awarded Safe Places status by Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.
Safe Places is a programme developed by Dudley Voices for Choice in collaboration with West Midlands Police and Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council. Safe Places provides people who may be vulnerable, including people with learning disabilities and autism, those living with dementia or who need support and assistance, with a temporary place of safety when out in their local community. It encourages vulnerable people to deal with situations effectively, and to feel confident and safe when out by having a recognisable symbol displayed in windows, identified by users of the scheme.
Mary Stevens Hospice shops are at the heart of local communities and are places where we are able extend our hospice values of Care, Kindness, and Compassion beyond the hospice walls.
Neil, an Expert by Experience from Dudley Voices for Choice said of the programme:
“Safe Places are very important, if you need some support or feel a bit frightened and anxious you can go to a Safe Place and they either give you time to feel less anxious or will call someone you know for you. We need to make sure our Safe Places have kind, welcoming and understanding people so was very happy that Mary Stevens decided to join the scheme. The scheme gives vulnerable people a safety net when they are out in the community.”