BFSB Bulletin No. 5

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Bracknell Forest Safeguarding Board

Bulletin No. 5          4 June 2020

Victims First

Victims First

Victims First is dedicated to making sure that all victims of crime receive the support they need to cope and recover from the impact of their crime. It is available across Berkshire and can provide help regardless of whether or not the crime has been reported to the police.

The service receives referrals from the police, partners and self-referrals. Victims First Officers discuss emotional or practical needs with the victim, as well as family members of victims, and work to put in place a support plan which could involve referring them to a commissioned specialist service for further support. Specialist services include:

  • Independent Sexual Violence Advisory (ISVA) Service
  • Victim-Led Restorative Justice (RJ) Service
  • Victims First Emotional Support Service
  • Hate Crime Third Party Reporting Service
  • Victims First - Willow Project (exploitation and complex needs service)
  • Domestic Abuse services commissioned in partnership with local authorities
  • Young Victims Service

The type of assistance available includes telephone support, face to face support, advocacy including, help to access other services such as sexual health clinics, drug and alcohol services and legal services, support through the criminal justice system (if the crime has been reported to the police) and therapeutic counselling.

You can speak to a Victims First Officer about any of their services or access support by phone on 0300 1234 148 or complete their referral form. Opening times Monday, Wednesday and Friday - 9am to 5pm and Tuesday and Thursday 9am - 7pm.

Trauma informed practice in post Covid-19 recovery webinar

This free webinar is intended for a multi-professional audience of frontline staff working with children, young people and families in settings such as schools, early help, hospitals and GP surgeries, as well as voluntary, community and faith sector partners. It aims to build an understanding of how trauma informed practice might help us post Covid-19, in restoration and recovery.

Create Hope

Emotional Support

Create Hope are a Bracknell based charity working across Berkshire to offer emotional support to children, young people and families. Their therapeutic services respond to issues such as domestic abuse, family separation, bereavement, chaotic family life, addiction, low self-esteem etc. by delivering different creative and systemic based therapy. We support family’s emotional needs, giving people a safe space to explore and express their feelings, explore relationships and challenge communications, process past hurts, develop self-awareness and empathy, and move towards the changes they need to make.

During COVID-19 they continue to provide services for families but where possible these take place online or via telephone contact.   If you are interested in any of their support services or would like more information please contact them via or phone 07720 970727. This phone number is also a free helpline to families across Berkshire needing emotional support.

SCIE coronavirus advice

SCIE (social care institute for excellence) provide coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for councils and care providers during the period.  They have collated guidance, resources and research from across the care sector. They have a section dedicated to safeguarding which includes sections on adults, domestic abuse, children and families and faith-based organisations.

Safe from falls

Child Safety Week

In response to the pandemic and the impact it’s having on how practitioners are working and communicating with families, Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) are changing what they’re offering this year.

They have produced new family-friendly content and adapted the bits of Child Safety Week that still work without face-to-face activity:

  • They have developed new Safety in lockdown resources which are free for you to download or copy and paste into your newsletters, add to your websites, share on social media or circulate to other organisations who support families.
  • They have adapted and added to the Child Safety Week Parents’ Pack, so it is an essential safety resource for families in lockdown and beyond.
  • They are redeveloping the Child Safety Week Action Pack into a year-round resource ready to be released as soon as practitioners can work with families face-to-face again which you can sign up to.

They have more tips on their Facebook or Twitter.

hand typing on a keyboard

Online Safety

During this time people are spending more time online and this can increase risks particularly to children and vulnerable adults. Find out what the Bracknell Forest Community Safety Team describes as the top seven dangers and how parents/carers can protect them.

Volunteers week logo

Volunteer’s Week

Many of us volunteer and many of our organisations use volunteers – Volunteers week is about saying thank you to all those that give their time to help. I would encourage all partner organisations that use volunteers to take a moment and remember the invaluable contribution they are making to your organisation and the people you may work with.

Volunteers week is also about raising the profile of volunteering. Many of you do use volunteers and likely need more volunteers. As the Volunteer Centre for Bracknell Forest involve Community Services is here to support organisations with their volunteering needs and requirements. We can help with recruitment as well as drafting volunteer role descriptions and volunteer management training.

We encourage you all to make sure your volunteering opportunities are on the local volunteer recruitment website: and if you already use this portal can make sure your opportunities are up to date as due to covid 19 many of you will be operating in a different way and will be taking steps to keep volunteers safe. If you need any extra support or information call 01344 304404 or email

Scams targeting vulnerable people during lockdown

Mencap have created a number of coronavirus guides which are accessible to use by people with a learning disability and are in an easy read format. One of these relates to scams.

In response to the increasing and ongoing threat from scams linked to COVID-19, Solihull Safeguarding Adult Board has collated details of seven common scams reported nationwide that people should be aware of:

  1. Fake faces masks: A shortage of PPE has led to some people selling bogus items. This was in fact one of the first scams to be flagged up during COVID-19 cases. In some cases people are going door-to-door and use their sales pitch as an excuse to gain access to a property. Other counterfeit products which could be offered include hand sanitiser or swabbing kits.
  2. Bogus Red Cross workers: Some cold callers are taking the scam a step further and actually calling on residents pretending to be from either the Red Cross or NHS. They claim to be carrying out mandatory testing, again in hope of getting into people's houses. 'To be clear: the Red Cross is NOT conducting coronavirus tests anywhere in the UK," said a spokesman and are “really troubled” by reports.
  3. Scam police warnings: Some people have received text messages claiming to be from police and government and warning they face fines for leaving their home during the lockdown. There have also been less frequent reports from around the country of people actually being approached in person and ordered to hand over cash by crooks who pretend to be undercover officers.
  4. Made-up tax rebates: Even in normal times it's not uncommon for criminals to pose as officials from HM Revenue & Customs and with many residents seeing a squeeze on their finances, it’s not surprising that attempts to entice them with bogus rebates continue. Last month Action Fraud claimed that almost £2 million had already been lost to these types of swindles.
  5. Government giveaways: Along similar lines are texts and emails which purport to be from government departments. These are often branded to look like official messages and direct people to a fake website and then asked to enter sensitive personal information, such as bank details.
  6. Vaccine fast-tracking: Some members of the public have reported calls offering "priority" vaccines. It's worth noting that there is currently no vaccine available for Covid-19, with official estimates suggesting any inoculation programme could still be 12 to 18 months away.
  7. Missed parcels: Many more residents are having deliveries to their home due to self-isolation but some scammers are using this to their advantage by leaving fake "missed parcel" notices on the doorstep. This encourages people to call a premium-rate phone number to arrange for another delivery.

 Bracknell Forest Safeguarding Board • Time Square • Market Street • Bracknell • RG12 1JD

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