As of today there will be a new scheme for people with learning disabilities and autism launching across Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and B&NES.
My name’s Jo and alongside running Brandon Trust’s Travel Buddy project, I am also overseeing our involvement with this scheme. Today, I will be down at City Hall with the Travel Buddy team, helping Avon and Somerset Police, Safer Bristol, and Bristol City Council, spread the word about this brilliant initiative.
The scheme works by getting local shops, businesses and public places, like libraries, leisure centres and doctors surgeries to sign up to be a ‘Safe Place’. By doing so they agree to offer help, reassurance or simple directions if someone with a learning disability or autism were to come in seeking help. It could be that someone has lost their way, is being bullied or harassed, or just needs a few moments to gather themselves.
By displaying the Safe Places logo in their window it lets those out on their own or in difficulty know that they would definitely receive help inside and that it is a safe place.
The Safe Places scheme is being run by Avon and Somerset Police and is part of a larger national scheme that will see all local police forces eventually becoming involved, providing extra support and reassurance wherever someone may want to travel.
Everybody should be able to feel safe in their local community and I am very proud to be involved in this working partnership with Avon and Somerset Police.
We will soon be providing more information on our website, but in the meantime you can learn more from the Avon and Somerset Police website.
Travel Buddy Project Leader