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Launch of Are you OK? campaign in Bristol

Bristol residents are being urged to check in with one another – following the start of a new campaign in the city.

Are you OK? is being launched by the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership and Bristol City Council – and coincides with Stop Adult Abuse Week (15-19 June).

The campaign aims to encourage people to look out for others’ wellbeing – and consider if friends, family and neighbours could be struggling or at risk as the national lockdown begins to ease.

The Partnership is made up of Bristol organisations which safeguard vulnerable communities – and hopes to highlight the hidden effects of coronavirus, how to spot signs for concern, and remind everyone of the help available.

The Are you OK? campaign will initially focus on the safeguarding of adult and children, domestic abuse and mental health. It will encourage people to contact support services if they, or someone they know, needs help.

During Stop Adult Abuse Week, each day will carry a different theme, from spotting the signs of adult abuse and neglect to financial scams and self-neglect.

Chair of the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership, Ivan Powell, said: “We all need to make sure that, with lockdown gradually easing and people leaving home more often, the most vulnerable in our society are not forgotten.

“We’ve seen many acts of kindness during the pandemic, and I hope this spirit of togetherness and looking out for one another will continue as restrictions lift further, so that we can recognise when something isn’t right and seek the help that is available.” 

Bristol City Council Cabinet Lead for Communities, Councillor Asher Craig, said: “It’s more important than ever to check in with friends, family and neighbours.

“I hope this campaign reminds people that we are here to help anyone who is struggling, and that support is available to tackle the hidden effects of the coronavirus pandemic.” 

The coronavirus outbreak has had an impact on the physical and mental health of many of Bristol’s most vulnerable people.

Lockdown restrictions have meant that some of those most at risk, such as people experiencing domestic or child abuse, may be missing out on receiving help, or do not know where to seek it.

There has been a reduction in referrals to support services in Bristol by a third, following the introduction of Covid-19 measures.

The Partnership will also work to expand mental health services ready for an expected increase in demand, as the mental and emotional impacts of the coronavirus are felt.

Information about the campaign will be shared through organisations in each area, on social media and the Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership website: bristolsafeguarding.org/areyouok. The police should be called if anyone is in immediate danger.

For more information about Stop Adult Abuse Week visit bristolsafeguarding.org/news/stop-adult-abuse-week