Our Safe Place scheme gives people somewhere to go if they are out in the community and feel anxious, threatened, lost or unwell.
Previously, it was only available to people with a learning disability who were over the age of 18.
Now the successful project has been extended to anyone who feels they may need help.
It includes lowering the age that someone with a learning disability can apply for a Keep Safe card from 18 to 16.
Anyone can sign up to the scheme by applying for the card which contains vital information like emergency contact details and any personal preferences of the person carrying it.
Organisations that sign up to Safe Places agree to display a sticker prominently on their premises, letting people know that they can come in if they need help.
People can show their Keep Safe card at locations across Derbyshire which will prompt staff to either find them somewhere safe to wait, use the information on the card to call family, friends or support staff or to call the police or ambulance if it is an emergency.
Our Cabinet Member for Adult Care Councillor Jean Wharmby said:
“It’s always great to see a scheme as useful as Safe Places extending its service to allow more people to use it.
“It works so well because it gives people more confidence to venture out and not become isolated in their own home – which in turn means they retain some independence.
“We’re committed to ensuring that all residents feel safe and secure and want everyone to feel part of their local community.”
Since its launch in 2009 the scheme has signed up more than 175 Safe Places across Derbyshire and around 750 people carry a Keep Safe card.
Pretty Swish, a fashion accessory shop in Ripley is the latest venue to sign up.
Cheryl Harrison, who owns the shop and runs it with her mother Val, said it felt right to open up their premises to people who felt vulnerable when out and about.
“We have a lot of older customers who often come in to buy family gifts and things, but also because it gives them a sense of connecting with their community.
“They’ll come in, have a chat and we’ll always try and make them feel safe and welcome.
“It feels right to open up our doors to people who feel like they’re struggling and need some assistance.”
The scheme is part of our Hate Crime and Staying Safe Project which is run in partnership with national learning disability charity, MacIntyre and Derbyshire police.
Find out more about the Safe Place Scheme, including how to apply for a Keep Safe card and see all current Safe Places.
If your organisation is based in Derbyshire, read more about how it can become a Safe Place.