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Community Warden helping to protect vulnerable residents in Selsey

A Chichester District Council Community Warden is working with a community organisation in Selsey to help protect some of the most vulnerable residents.

Community warden Rich and key safe

Rich Moorey, the council's Community Warden for Selsey, has been working with the Selsey Care Shop for the past year to conduct in-person welfare checks on vulnerable residents when volunteers are not able to contact them during their daily 'good morning' check-in calls. In some cases, Rich was unable to enter the property as the resident had fallen or was unable to reach the door.

As a result, Rich came up with a simple and cost-effective idea to help improve people's safety and peace of mind - by encouraging residents to install special key safes. After approaching the Chichester District Joint Action Group (JAG) with his idea, he was awarded £650 which has been set aside for Selsey Care Shop to order key safes when requested by a resident.

The key safes mean a resident can keep a key securely outside their home. This can then be accessed by a trusted family member or carer so that they can gain access to the property in an emergency.

"Most of these welfare checks have taken place with no issue," explains Rich. "But unfortunately, there have been some instances where the resident has fallen and been on the floor for some time and has needed medical attention.

"In these cases, I've called an ambulance for the resident, and emergency services to gain access into the property. It occurred to me, that while the emergency services are happy to assist, a simple solution such as a key safe could help prevent the need for them to be called out.

The funding that Rich secured from the Joint Action Group has helped fund 60 key safes. He has been letting residents know about their availability through the Care Shop.

Rich continues: "I've recently installed the 39th safe, so there are still key safes left. A resident just needs to register with the Selsey Care Shop to order one, and then once it's ready I install them in a discreet location on the outside of their home."

"I also encourage them to let their GP know the code as well, to provide another layer of safeguarding for them in case of an emergency," explains Rich.

The project is currently only running in Selsey, but Rich is keen to see this taken up in other areas of the district. "I'm so pleased with its progress so far. It's been great to take this from an idea into something that is making a real difference to some of the most vulnerable people."

Councillor Tracie Bangert, Cabinet Member for Communities, Wellbeing and Customer Services at Chichester District Council says: "We're so proud of the work all our Community Wardens do in helping residents feel safe in their communities. The work that Rich is doing is just one example of how our community wardens develop community initiatives that have a real impact in the area that they are working in.

"Selsey Care Shop work with some very vulnerable people and this project will go a long way to help them feel safe and protected in their own home, in some cases it could even save their life."

Selsey Care Shop is a one-stop hub where people in Selsey can access a wide range of services run by the Selsey Community Forum, including befriending; support for carers; wellbeing support; an employment service; and support with money issues.

The Selsey Care Shop also runs the Good Morning Call scheme, where a team of volunteers carry out a daily phone call to residents who might appreciate a friendly chat or could be vulnerable or housebound. The 25-strong team of volunteers currently make around 100 'Good Morning' calls across the Manhood Peninsula each day.

"Ten years ago, I started working on the Good Morning Selsey scheme, and since then we've really come into our own," explains Mike Nicholls. "Many of the residents only have a TV or radio to stay up to date with what's happening outside their homes. It's helpful for them to have even just a half hour conversation, that half hour can make all the difference and brighten their day."

Mike continues: "With the help of our local Community Warden Rich it's been a great opportunity to take our help further with the fantastic key safe project. We're not only making sure they stay connected, but also that they can be helped when they need it most."

If people would like to find out more about the work the Chichester District Community Wardens do, they can visit the Chichester District Community Wardens webpage.

People can find out more about Selsey Care Shop by visiting the Selsey Care Shop website (opens new window).

Date of release: 8 January 2024

Reference: 4310