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Robert Norton interviews leading Essex safeguarding officer

05 Feb Robert Norton interviews leading Essex safeguarding officer

Here at EssexTV  we like to shout about hard work and inspiring stories across Essex.

Meet Katherine Washbrook. Katherine is piloting her idea with a small group of meetups, creating simple solutions to such huge problems for Adults with disabilities.Navigating to the local shop can throw up all sorts of problems, so you can imagine what an independent trip to town would be like.

Katherine has identified this and within the Be Safe group. They delegate together and carry out individual surveys on various shops up and down the High Street. This creates familiarity,

Where in the future, one will have confidence to go out and not feel so anxious or confused. Knowing they have somewhere to go ‘Safe place’ creating easy access; if any problems would occur.

The shops are frequently reviewed and visited by the group members, awarding shops with ‘Be Safe Stickers’

I had an interview with Katherine to find out more…

Hello Katherine, What’s your job role?

I am a support officer for ‘Be Safe and Keep safe’ projects. I work in partnership with Adult with disabilities, assessing home and outside spaces. How can we make it better and make the public aware?

What made you apply for this job?

I was a volunteer at CAVS “Canvey Association of Voluntary Services” for five years. Working on various projects within the community. where funding was approved for a post to work on ‘Be safe & Stay safe’. I gave it my best shot and it was amazing.

What’s key to safeguarding?

Protection and awareness, we can all do as a community. It’s all in our interest. you don’t need to be qualified. its simple little alerts and signals that can trigger awareness of potential problems.

What’s been your favourite part?

Always working in partnership with ‘Adults with disabilities, I attend the ‘drop in groups’ as this keeps me constantly updated with our member’s and crucially socialising.

PICTURED: Robert with safeguarding officer Katherine

What’s been the worse?

Lack of funding, I need to keep on doing; as sadly the project cannot make five year plans, Funding is allocated on a yearly basis. Therefore, we cannot make any long-term plans and having to work with limited resources and staff. It’s frustrating as we need to cover more projects and be more hands on.

What area do you cover?

‘Be Safe Project’ used to cover whole of Essex but because of funding restrictions, we can now only cover North East. ‘Keep Safe’ Covers whole of Essex with supported partner’s.

Who are your clients?

My clients are the most wonderful people who I learn off, I always get big Hellos and big Welcomes.

If people wish to work in Safeguarding, What options are out there?

Various ways, my route was volunteering with CAVS. In castle point; We have four children’s centres, very important as your interacting with the whole family. We also have Social care, Health’s centres, & rehabilitation etc. …

What inspires you?

Everywhere I go, people I get chatting with. what they do and why? Passion and commitment. With no recognition and stand up for people’s injustice.

Finally,How do you relax?

Lots and lots of dog walking, sailing in Suffolk and Yoga along Southend seafront.