Up to 140 public sector organisations across North Yorkshire, including libraries, leisure centres, Citizen’s Advice Bureaux, TransPennine train stations and community and children’s centres, have registered as Safe Places – but more are needed.

Safe Places help people who may need a little extra help and support while out and about in their community. People who might need to use them carry a Safe Places card or wear a wristband with the number for a call centre. If they need help, they can go to public places, such as shops, community centres and libraries, that have a Safe Places sticker in their window and ask staff there for help.

North Yorkshire County Council launched the scheme in the spring, along with North Yorkshire Police, district councils, the voluntary sector, travel organisations and pharmacies, with the aim of helping people to lead independent lives and feel safe.

Shops, services or businesses who agree to be a Safe Place put a logo sticker in their window so it can be seen easily. When a member of the scheme goes to the Safe Place for help, it can provide the help they are looking for or phone the call centre number. The call centre holds personal information about the member and contact details for their responder (family member, friend or carer). Contact will be made with the responder who will go to the Safe Place as quickly as possible to help the person.

County Councillor Clare Wood, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health Integration, said: “With the nights drawing in, it’s even more important that people feel safe out about in their community and this easy-to-use scheme can help us look out for one another in our day to day lives and gives organisations and businesses the means to support the vulnerable in our society.

“In the past, when places were more closely knit, people knew who to look out for. These days when populations are more mobile and transient, Safe Places provides organisations and businesses the means to enhance the community.

As many Safe Places as possible are needed for scheme members who feel they need the reassurance to go out into their community. Further information about the scheme is available fromwww.northyorks.gov.uk/safeplaces

Any interested in registering a Safe Place or becoming a member should contactsafeplaces@spsdoorguard.com or phone 03307260260.