It is National Safeguarding Adults week and I wanted to introduce a film to you about safeguarding.
The Safeguarding film ‘Don’t keep it to yourself, tell someone you can trust’ was originally commissioned by the organisation POhWER for their Learning Disabilities conference in 2015. POhWER are a charity that provides information, advocacy and advice services across England, offering direct and local support via professionals and volunteers. Their independent, free services reach people struggling with particular challenges in their lives. POhWER provided us with a leaflet which documented the various types of abuse under safeguarding. This document was aimed at adults with learning disabilities and had simple illustrations to accompany each type of abuse. I showed these images to the Haddon Projects group I facilitate and they used them as a springboard for creating the scenarios that you see in the film. We wanted to make the clips as visual as possible so that it was clear through the actors’ body language what was transpiring.
The film opened a dialogue with the people involved in making the film and resulted in some valuable learning. I remember discussion on the creation of the organisational abuse clip provoking an interesting debate. The scene depicted a support worker forcing a person to eat a healthy option. The staff’s motive was in the best interest of the person they supported but was an infringement of their civil liberties. The making of the clip shone a light on the thin line that exists between empowering support work and abuse of power. The group were split almost evenly as to whether the support worker was in the wrong. I think the main purpose of our film is to inspire such debate and open these dialogues with the people we support. The creation of this film led to the making of a ‘Part Two’ which looked at how to make a complaint when you are a victim of a safeguarding abuse, which in itself was a valuable experience and led to equally important learning.
I am extremely proud of the group’s willingness to take on and tackle such difficult yet important subject matter and of their ability to do it in a respectful and understanding way.
The film took around 10 weeks to complete from start to finish and was made using a Panasonic AVCHD video camera and edited on a MacBook Pro using iMovie software.
I hope you enjoy this film and please do share it and talk about the content with the people you support.
Senior Learning Support Worker, Milton Keynes Lifelong Learning