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Shropshire law firm signs up to Safe Places scheme
11 Oct 2016
by Simon Alton

A Shropshire law firm has signed up to a scheme aimed at providing a safe haven for vulnerable people who feel threatened or have been the victim of crime.

The Safe Places project is gathering pace in the county as more firms and organisations get together to help those most in need battle the problems they can be confronted with.

Its aim is to provide vulnerable individuals, like those experiencing anxiety attacks or hate crime, with a place to go where a phone call can be made to a carer, relative or the police on their behalf.

Shops, businesses and public buildings are among those in the Safe Places scheme where those in need can find refuge.

Law firm Lanyon Bowdler is adding its four offices across Shropshire as a potential refuge by displaying the Safe Places sticker in their window, which identifies them as a safe haven where staff have been trained to help.

Sophie Davies, of Lanyon Bowdler, said: “The outside world can be frightening, intimidating and daunting for some people in our society and we feel it is vitally important to offer help, comfort and support to those who need it.

“We already work closely with the organisations behind the project, so it felt important for the firm to join the scheme officially.

“As a firm, our strapline is ‘supporting people, businesses and communities’, so becoming a Safe Place certainly fits in with our ethos as a supportive business.”

All four of Lanyon Bowdler’s Shropshire offices will be part of the scheme, with the Safe Places sticker on display at the premises in Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury; Eco Park Road, Ludlow; Church Street, Oswestry; and Hazledine House, Telford.

Fully-trained volunteers from the Safe Place Shropshire team will provide training for staff at each site to ensure they know how to act when someone who needs support approaches them.

The scheme is run by the Shropshire Disability Network and supported by the police so officers are aware of where local Safe Places are.

Sophie added: “If a person feels threatened or has a crime committed against them while they are out in the community they can call in to any Safe Places premises to ask for support.

“Our staff will be trained to offer support with things such as somewhere quiet to sit and calm down, helping to phone a family member to come and pick them up or to contact the police to report concerns or seek advice.

“Lanyon Bowdler is proud to add its name to this most worthwhile scheme.”

Ann Shaw, one of the founders of the Safe Place Shropshire scheme, said: “We have been amazed at the way this scheme has been taken to local people’s hearts.

“Shropshire has shown it understands how vulnerable people might feel at certain times. Carers can feel happy that there are places their loved ones can go should they need assistance.”

Paula Griffiths, Sophie Davies, Ruby Hartshorn and Ann Shaw with the Safe Places sign at Lanyon Bowdler’s Shrewsbury office.

Paula Griffiths, Sophie Davies, Ruby Hartshorn and Ann Shaw with the Safe Places sign at Lanyon Bowdler’s Shrewsbury office.