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National award recognises unique Manchester training programme to protect older people from abuse

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National award recognises unique Manchester training programme to protect older people from abuse

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Published by Susan Littlemore for Riverside in Care and Support and also in Communities, Housing

Housing association, Riverside-ECHG, a specialist provider of housing for older people, has been shortlisted for a national award for its tenant safeguarding training that is empowering its older tenants across the Manchester region to look out for and tackle the signs of ‘elder abuse’.

Riverside’s Tenant Safeguarding Awareness Training (‘Delivered to Tenants by Tenants’) intends to educate its residents in housing schemes for older people to recognise the signs if they are being treated unfairly or inappropriately and how to report different kinds of abuse.

The training programme has been shortlisted by national agency Erosh (the national consortium for older people’s housing and support) in its Innovation & Good Practice Awards.

The project was initially conceived in 2012, with the training package that includes a range of staged potential abuse scenarios. The first training session was delivered in 2013. Twenty-eight sessions have been delivered to date with over 250 Riverside tenants in attendance.

Alison Halstead, Area Manager for Riverside ECHG said: “When looking at tenant safety, a common theme soon became evident that tenants were not aware of the range of things that could be abuse and had a lack of knowledge around abuse and how to spot it.”

The training is accompanied by a DVD of recreated scenarios. Tenants worked with the Riverside team to develop the example abuse situations and possible outcomes.

Alison continued: “The sessions, which are delivered by two of our trained residents, Grace and Ford, are encouraging the rest of our tenants to come forward and speak to staff should they have any concerns. The sessions are giving tenants the confidence and knowledge to report any of their suspicions to the Riverside team”.

Hilary, one of Riverside’s tenants who has benefitted from the awareness training said that the session was a real “eye opener”. She said: “It raised awareness of not letting people into our properties and being too over trusting.”

Due to the success of the project in Manchester, Derby and Nottingham, sessions are now set to be delivered across Riverside Merseyside and Liverpool housing schemes for older people, commencing in June 2014.

The winners of the Erosh Innovation & Good Practice Awards will be presented with their awards by Esther Rantzen, CBE on Tuesday 29 April at the Museum of London Docklands.

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