Safeguarding is important for everyone to know about. And safeguarding is not only about keeping children and young people safe, but also ensuring that vulnerable adults in our communities are safe from harm. Many of us may be vulnerable at some point in our lives, whether because of illness, low mental health, frailty or dementia. And we must all be alert to observe signs of abuse in those we know, meet or care for.
Mothers' Union in Suffolk is committed to following the safeguarding procedures of the Anglican Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. We also have our own Safeguarding Policy.
If you think that someone is suffering abuse, please either contact your own Parish Safeguarding Officer or use the links on this Diocesan Safeguarding webpage to contact the appropriate person or agency.
A visit from Mothers' Union friends can be really important to members who are unwell or unable to get out. However, it’s good practice to follow some basic visiting guidelines to keep yourself and the members you are visiting safe.
· Visit in pairs. Leave a card to say that you have visited and keep a note of the date and time you called, so that other carers know you have visited.
· Don’t offer sweets, drinks or other food items to people you are visiting. You don’t know if there is anything they are not allowed to eat or drink, and they may not want to refuse for fear of offending you.
· Don’t offer ‘over the counter’ medicines. Painkillers, cough medicines, indigestion remedies – even throat pastilles – can have side effects and may not be compatible with other prescribed medicines the person may be taking. Don’t administer prescribed drugs: there may be carers who visit to do this.
· Often members want to make a donation to Mothers’ Union funds, or may ask you to pass on their subs to the branch. If it is cash, leave a note saying how much you have been given and what for – and make sure its receipt is recorded by the branch. Never put the money into your own purse or wallet – take an envelope, just in case.
· If the member asks you to do some shopping, agree how much money you are taking and get receipts for all you have spent.
When visiting a member at home, if you have any safeguarding concerns (for example, the member is unkempt in appearance, mentions inappropriate behaviour from other visitors, carers or relatives), make a note of your concerns and report these to the person responsible for safeguarding in your parish or incumbent as soon as possible. If you think that the person is in immediate danger, ring the police on 999.
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