Schemes aim to give vulnerable people in Portsmouth a boost

Unite the trade union holding a universal credit protest on the doorstep of Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt's constituency office on November 10. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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WHEN life gets tough, we often turn to our loved ones for help.

But for those who are vulnerable and in danger, it can prove difficult contacting a friend or relative.

PCSOs Karen Rolfe with the ICE bands and Adam Grindlay with the Safer Places card, pictured with The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Steven Wylie. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (142801-128)

PCSOs Karen Rolfe with the ICE bands and Adam Grindlay with the Safer Places card, pictured with The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Steven Wylie. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (142801-128)

Now two schemes are being rolled out in Portsmouth to ensure they are not left to fend for themselves.

The first is called Safe Places, which allows local businesses to help vulnerable people.

It works by those with difficulties having a Safe Places card with their next-of-kin details written on them.

If they are in trouble, they can go to a store taking part in the scheme with their card so an employee can contact their family.

Police community support officers Karen Rolfe and Adam Grindlay, who are leading the project, gave a presentation about it at the Lord Mayor’s Parlour in Portsmouth Guildhall yesterday.

PCSO Rolfe, who came up with the idea last year, said: ‘It was based on my experience with my dad having dementia.

‘People know the feeling of losing a child when they are out, and it’s the same when you are a carer.

‘It’s about bringing people back together safely.’

Twenty-five shops in Commercial Road have already signed up, and Cascades Shopping Centre is also getting involved.

Each store will show a window sticker signposting residents to the help they need.

The second scheme that has been launched involves vulnerable people getting wristbands containing contact details for a relative or friend.

The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Steven Wylie, praised the initiative.

‘This will give families peace of mind,’ said Cllr Wylie.

‘It’s not going to be something that everyone will want to do, but it’s there if people need it.

‘Portsmouth is a busy place.’

Wristbands and Safe Places cards can now be collected from Portsmouth Guildhall.