Safeguarding – What can you do to help?

Published on 10 November, 2023

As a local infrastructure charity, CAN co-chair the meetings for the Community Engagement Group (CEG) for the Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Safeguarding Adult Board.

As part of our work with the CEG we try to help people have a better understanding of what safeguarding is and what to do if they’re worried about someone. Safeguarding for Adults means helping adults who have additional needs, such as physical or learning disabilities, to live in safety, free from abuse, neglect or harm.

Abuse and harm can come in many forms including some which are more obvious than others, such as:

  • Physical abuse – purposefully causing another person cuts, bruises, injuries, giving someone the wrong type or dosage of medicines
  • Domestic abuse – actual physical/emotional abuse and the threat of abuse between people who live together
  • Sexual abuse – sexual activities that an adult has not given consent to

Alongside these types of abuse, there are others which may seem less obvious but are no less harmful. These include:

  • Emotional/psychological abuse – making someone feel humiliated, blaming them for things that aren’t their fault, controlling their behaviour
  • Financial abuse – taking someone’s money or belongings without their permission, including scams
  • Discriminatory abuse – treating someone differently because of their age, gender, race, sexual orientation.

So, what can we do about this?

If you or anyone you work with, support or know is concerned, ‘has a hunch’, or feels that someone is not being treated properly this should be reported. It is much better to report your concerns, have them investigated and find it was a false alarm than to delay or ignore it. Trust your gut instincts.

To report a concern in BCP Council area

Call: 01202 123654 during office hours

Call: 0300 1239895 during evenings or at weekends

To report a concern in Dorset Council area

Call: 01305 221016 during office hours

Call: 01305 858250 during evenings or at weekends.


To find out more about the Community Engagement Group or the Dorset, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Safeguarding Adult Board, contact