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Derbyshire Safe Place Scheme

Matthew Corrigan

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Revive Cafe who have applied to join the Derbyshire Safe Place Scheme

High Peak businesses are getting behind the Derbyshire Safe Place Scheme to provide safe havens for adults with learning disabilities.

Since its introduction in 2009 the Derbyshire Safe Place Scheme has proved highly popular, opening its 100th Safe Place at the start of this year. The scheme, which operates virtually countywide is run in partnership between Derbyshire County Council, Derbyshire Constabulary's Safer Neighbourhood Teams and the charity MacIntyre, and has created a network of public places in which adults with learning disabilities can find help while on the high street.  Last year a Police and Crime Commissioner's grant was awarded which enabled further expansion across the area. Ruth Dickinson, Practical Independent Living Service Development Officer at the council described 2015 as “a cracking year” and hopes to hit 125 Safe Places in the very near future.

All of Derbyshire's libraries are part of the Derbyshire Safe Place Scheme and many businesses have already applied to join. Adults with learning disabilities are encouraged to carry a 'Keep Safe' card with their name, address and contact details of a person that could be called upon to help in an emergency – usually a friend or family member. Shops, cafes and other businesses that are part of the scheme have staff with enhanced communications skills and display a Safe Place logo in their windows. 

In New Mills, the Revive Cafe has applied to join the scheme. Staff there are due to receive their Safe Place 'information awareness' training in April. Since opening its doors in 2011 the busy Market Street cafe has gone from strength to strength. Run by members of the New Mills Revival Church, it has become far more than simply a welcoming place in which to enjoy a quick coffee or take a light lunch. Funds are raised for good causes both on a local and global level. As well as donating to a Ugandan charity the cafe also supports Christians Against Poverty (CAP), a debt counselling service for local people facing financial difficulties. The cafe's (excellent) speciality coffee is Triple Certified, meaning Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance certified and it is approved by the Soil Association.

Derbyshire Safe Place Scheme is always interested to hear from High Peak businesses. Anyone wishing to find out more can visit their website: www.derbyshire.gov.uk/safeplace