“Every child, young person and adult, regardless of age, has the right to live a life free from harm and mistreatment, the right to feel, and to be, safe. At Oasis Community Housing, we are committed to providing a safe and secure environment where all individuals are protected from abuse,” says Phil Conn, speaking out this Safeguarding Adults Week (15 – 21 November).

Phil, who is Oasis Community Housing’s Director of Programmes, was appointed the new Independent Chair of Gateshead Safeguarding Adults Board earlier this year.

Safeguarding Adults Boards were established as a legal requirement for each local authority in the 2014 Care Act. The Boards are made up of local authorities, the police, NHS, social services and other statutory and third sector partners whom develop and implement a joint safeguarding strategy that scrutinises and improves what is happening within each borough. The role of the Chair is to hold the core partners to account.

Phil has a wealth of expertise in safeguarding, particularly in relation to homelessness, severe multiple disadvantage and complex needs. He has been Designated Safeguarding Lead at Oasis Community Housing for many years before joining the Gateshead Safeguarding Adults Board a few years ago.

Commenting on his appointment, Phil said: “For me, safeguarding adults should be person-led and outcome focussed utilising a preventative model. So it is an honour to be appointed as Gateshead Safeguarding Adults Board’s Independent Chair, especially taking over from Sir Paul Ennals CBE.”

As part of Oasis Community Housing’s commitment to safeguarding, Phil delivers regular Safeguarding Adults at Risk training for all employees as well as developing and having overall responsibility for the implementation of the charity’s safeguarding policies and procedures.

There are six key principles, which underpin all adult safeguarding work across the charity’s services:

  • Empowerment – People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent
  • Prevention – it is better to take action before harm occurs
  • Proportionality – the least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented
  • Protection – support and representation for those in greatest need
  • Partnership – local solutions through services working with their communities
  • Accountability – accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding

Oasis Community Housing is calling on partner organisations and businesses to download and display Gateshead Safeguarding Adult Board’s recently-released poster this Safeguarding Adults Week – to help raise awareness of the categories of abuse and neglect, and who can be contacted if you are concerned.