Braintree district: Council encourages elderly residents to keep safe (From Braintree and Witham Times)
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Braintree district: Council encourages elderly residents to keep safe
11:00am Monday 12th August 2013 in News
Elderly people are being encouraged to keep safe by carrying a key ring with a contact number if they need help.
Braintree Council is expanding its Keep Safe scheme, which is being made available to all residents aged 60 and over.
The scheme, which is supported by Essex Police and local businesses, sees residents provided with a key ring and card on which they can write a telephone number for a friend or family member.
Residents can then visit any one of 20 town centre ‘safe places’ across Braintree, Witham and Halstead to get free telephone access.
People are urged to use the scheme in non-emergency situations, such as losing their keys or feeling unsafe or distressed.
Keep Safe was initially launched to support people with learning disabilities, but is now being extended.
Joanne Beavis, Braintree Council cabinet member for people, said: “The success of the Keep Safe project is an example of how successful partnership can make a real difference to people’s lives.
“Recent research by the council has shown that whilst only 22% of older people have needed to report an incident in the town centre, many said that they often felt unsafe.
“This scheme will go a long way to help older residents feel confident about spending time in our town centres and reassure them that help is always available if needed.”
Graham Oates, chairman of Braintree Pensioners Action Group, said: “Maintaining independence is very important for older people and as such Keep Safe is very beneficial and will give people confidence to use the town centres.”
The Keep Safe team will be offering advice and handing out cards at the George Yard Shopping Centre in Braintree on Wednesday from 10am to 2pm.
For more information, call the council’s communities team on 01376 552525.
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