Describe your best practice
Event hosted by Oxleas Trust (disability services) for borough-wide adults with learning disabilities.

Bexley Borough Neighbourhood Watch (BBNWA) was invited to offer safety guidance and awareness in the community.

As a volunteer with first hand experience with individuals with learning disabilities, my best practice would have to be making vulnerable adults aware of the dangers of “trusting” people from rogue door-to-door traders/service providers to so called “friends”. I did this using easy-read, pictorial guides and leaflets.

What did you do and why?
Using a Neighbourhood Watch toolkit (in tandem with True Vision) we discussed and openly talked about disability hate crime and how to identify and report issues of this nature.

We used the easy read (pictorial) guides to gage individuals with learning disabilities and the many ways they can discuss this with a trusted adult, in order to report using the correct channels.

We spoke about trust in general; who to trust and who/what not to trust. Scenarios such as money lending, sharing personal information and homes being used for inappropriate activities etc.

We had to be careful in our approach so not to cause alarm or fear, so it was communicated in an effective, yet delicate way.

Key workers & carers alike at the event took leaflets, stickers and purse charms for their day centres.

Duration of the project
1 day event (a couple of hours prep)

What worked well?
Identifying with the individuals and building a rapport with them and their key workers/carers.

Understanding what gages their attention, such as audible and visual devices and guides. In terms of personality, being playful, kind and communicating at a rate/pace they are able to comprehend.

The visual aids and leaflets worked exceptionally well, if I encountered verbal difficulty I knew I could point to the leaflet for further clarification.

Our stand was paired with Oxleas Trust so again we had support from their staff who also use signalong (sign language).

How did you overcome any challenges?
Sharing a stand/gazebo with Oxleas Trust at the event proved to be beneficial. At first, I wasn’t sure we (BBNWA) would have enough sufficient space to set up our material and banners, but I quickly realised that having Oxleas support with individuals with learning disabilities was more advantageous.

Again, having the visual stimulus, guides & leaflets proved vital for BBNWA at an event of this nature. It wasn’t so much about recruiting new people to the Watch, but more importantly to raise awareness of safeguarding and trust for vulnerable adults and those with learning disabilities and how to effectively report issues to their guardians/trusted persons.

How did you cover any costs?
Event was organised & funded by Oxleas Trust. Leaflets & visuals provided by BBNWA.

Contact us to find out more about this initiative