Preventing the neglect and abuse of vulnerable adults will be top of the agenda in Medway next week as Safeguarding Adults Awareness Week takes place from 10 – 15 June.
This year’s event is aimed at making people aware of the huge impact adult abuse can have on individuals and the support that is available to help them take action. Vulnerable adults who are in need of care and protection can include people with learning disabilities, older people, people with mental health problems and those with a physical disability.

Everyone can play their part in ensuring that vulnerable adults are protected from risks ranging from physical, sexual and psychological abuse to discrimination, neglect and financial exploitation.

Medway Council social services works closely alongside partners in housing, health, police, education, private and voluntary sector organisations, to raise awareness of this problem and to take action to prevent it. Medway Council social services take the lead in co-ordinating the response if someone reports adult abuse.

The awareness week will include information sessions about the different kinds of abuse vulnerable adults may fall victim to and how to prevent and be aware of these.
Staff will be at the Pentagon Shopping Centre, Chatham, from 9am to 4pm on Wednesday, 12 June. Social services representatives will all be on hand to answer questions, give out information and chat to shoppers.

Staff will be at Rochester Library on Thursday 13 June, from 10am to 3pm. Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care, Cllr David Brake said: “It is our primary and most important duty to protect vulnerable people from harm. As a community we share this duty. Please play your part by assisting us to help people at risk of harm, neglect or abuse.” “Across the UK, Serious Case Reviews often identify opportunities when intervention could have prevented a bad situation becoming a tragedy. No-one would wish to ignore suffering or to have a missed opportunity on their conscience.”

“If it niggles you, please don’t ignore it. If it troubles you, please contact us. Your call really can make a difference.” Medway Council’s Trading Standards Team Leader David Cross added: “We work closely alongside the council’s safeguarding team to help adults who have fallen victim to financial abuse, often from businesses and rogue traders who prey on people’s lack of experience or knowledge. “People can often be persuaded to part with their money or misled into signing contracts for products or services they don’t want or need, because their vulnerability has been abused.”

Medway Council’s Principal Officer for Safeguarding Adults Sallyann Baxter said “Last year 313 referrals were investigated and we were able to work with those individuals to prevent further abuse. We can make a positive impact on people’s lives.” “However, people do not always recognise that they are the subject of abuse or may not wish to tell anyone for the fear of repercussions. We could potentially help many more people in Medway, so that is why I am pleased to help launch this awareness week, which I hope will improve people’s confidence in talking to someone if they are affected by this subject.”

For more information on adult safeguarding visit
Alternatively you can call 01634 334466. If someone is at immediate risk, call 999 for the emergency services.