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December 17, 2019

Safe and Well with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service

Progress on work with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (WYFRS) to make sure older people at risk of social isolation get help and support.

How we got there

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue had started (in partnership with Public Health England) to make better use of the time they spend visiting people and fitting smoke alarms. They reasoned that as well as preventing fires they could also help to reduce other poor outcomes for people which would in turn render them less vulnerable to fire. The result was the Safe and Well programme. The programme uses local information and population data to target those most at need of a visit, and then seeks to identify if people need help in areas that are also related to higher risk of death or injury in house fires. Safe and Well visits now look at Crime prevention, falls prevention, cold homes, smoking cessation and social isolation.

Hanna, the previous Time to Shine Learning Facilitator, worked with WYRFS trainers to help them put together a training module. All West Yorkshire firefighters have now been trained to spot signs of social isolation and loneliness. In Leeds if they find people in real need of support they refer then to AGE UK Leeds’ SWIFt project, who either work with them or refer to a local Neighbourhood Network or other appropriate organisation.

Where we are now

We are now planning, with the help of the Leeds Prevention Officer, to train organisations who work with older people and who might get to know a little about their circumstances, to be able to identify when someone is at increased risk from fire so they can request a Safe and Well visit. The organisations will also be able to get to know their local fire station crew (called ‘Watches’), so that when they meet someone who would clearly benefit from a bit of help or friendship but who doesn’t want a formal referral the crew can give them information about local organisations and activities.

This is a great outcome for the work of Time to Shine, and one for which I can currently claim little credit, but I’m really pleased to be working on it now as we roll it out across Leeds.

Safe and well information events

Please book your free place on any one of these information events (details below).

Jack Bennett (of WYFRS) or one of their Leeds Prevention Team will attend, explain to us all how Safe and well visits now work (forget ‘it’s just smoke alarms’), how they are targeted at those most at risk and how those risk factors interact.

It’s OK for more than one member of staff to attend if appropriate. If you can’t find a date that suits you, or you would like to have a meeting nearer to you and can offer a space, please contact me and we will arrange something more suitable.

Monday 13 January, 2.00-3.30
Book your place

Belle Isle Wednesday 15 January, 2.00-3.30
Book your place

Friday 17 January, 2.00-3.30
Book your place

These information events are kindly hosted by Neighbourhood Networks.

Jessica Duffy
Time to Shine Learning Facilitator