Unfortunately, we are coming across more and more cases where vulnerable people are being taken advantage of by so called ‘friends’
We spoke to our Safeguarding Advisor Carol Miller to find out about a recent case that our support and wellbeing team have come across.
“We recently had a call from a concerned neighbour, who was worried that some men were visiting her vulnerable friend Joan*
“Our Support and Wellbeing team had helped Joan in the past – we knew how vulnerable she was so we were obviously very concerned. So myself and Angela Hough (Support worker) decided to visit her to have a chat and make sure that everything was ok.
“When we sat down with Joan* , we explained that we had received a call from a concerned neighbour and just wanted to check that everything was ok.
“ Joan became extremely upset and told us that the men had taken her food, money and other items. She was also being forced to do things that she did not want to do. The issues she disclosed had been going on for a long time.
“The men were strangers that turned up one day with a “friend” of Joan’s, who just let them in, and they started coming back every week. Joan had tried to ignore them, but they would bombard her with texts or just lean on the buzzer until she let them.
“We needed to make Joan feel safe in her home. We told her to call 999 if the men came back, and we encouraged Joan to report the issue to the police and adult social care. Once they were involved, we were able to make sure that Joan was given the right advice and support to keep herself safe. Our Support and Wellbeing Team continue to check in on Joan to make sure she is ok, but we know there may be other people out there that like Joan are being targeted. “
If you are neighbour that is concerned about a friend or neighbour being targeted or taken advantage of by others you can report your concerns anonymously via 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, in an emergency call 999.
If you are a customer and feel that you need help, please contact the Support and Wellbeing team via 01606 813300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will take you through the help that is available , both from ourselves and any other fantastic organisations or services that work with us.”
*Names and identifiable details have been changed for confidentiality purposes.