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P-46 Safe place scheme
  1. Gemma Allen
  1. The Mary Stevens Hospice, Stourbridge, UK


Background Safe Places provides people who may be vulnerable, including people with learning disabilities and autism, those living with dementia or who need support and assistance, with a temporary place of safety when out in their local community. It encourages vulnerable people to deal with situations effectively, and to feel confident and safe when out by having a recognisable symbol displayed in windows, identified by users of the scheme.


  • Hospice services and retail stores to be recognised and awarded Safe Places, enabling people with learning disabilities and people living with dementia to feel safe and secure whilst out in their local community;

  • Closer working relationships between clinical services and trading sector.


  • Work collaboratively with self–advocacy group, get advice and support on implementing the Safe Place scheme;

  • Visited retail shops, discussed the programme with store managers and volunteers;

  • ‘Mystery shop’ stores by an Expert by Experience, assessing accessibility, friendliness and helpfulness of staff.

Results Inpatient unit, day services, fundraising department and all stores awarded and listed on Community Information Directory, being first organisation to have all services recognised as ‘Safe Places’ in the local area.

Conclusion Hospice shops are at the heart of local communities and are places where we are able extend our hospice values of Care, Kindness, and Compassion.

An Expert by Experience said of the programme:

Safe Places are very important, if you need some support or feel a bit frightened and anxious you can go to a Safe Place and they either give you time to feel less anxious or will call someone you know for you. We need to make sure our Safe Places have kind, welcoming and understanding people so was very happy that the hospice decided to join the scheme.’

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