Families in the Western Isles are being given the opportunity to secure essential home safety equipment as part of a special scheme.
Scotland's Home Safety Equipment Scheme, which was launched by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) in Stornoway today (April 12), has been made a reality thanks to £265,000 of funding from the Scottish Government. This approach supports the Early Years Collaborative, which aims to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up by reducing inequalities for all families across the country and ensuring that all children have the best start in life.
Under the scheme, RoSPA Scotland will work with local agencies and organisations including NHS Western Isles and Tighean Innse Gall, to help identify up to 100 families on the island eligible for free home safety equipment, ranging from safety gates to fireguards, window restrictors, bath mats, corner cushions, door jammers, cleats and cupboard locks, all of which will be fitted by a qualified installer. Most of the equipment, which has been provided by Kid Rapt, will be fitted by Western Isles Care and Repair and Taigh Blath.
It will also run in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, East Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde, West Dunbartonshire, and West/East Lothian, from April 2013 to June 2014, reaching out to 800 families in total. Each family will also receive a home fire safety visit from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, which is working alongside the partners.
Carlene McAvoy, community safety development officer for RoSPA Scotland, said: "We are delighted to announce the launch of Scotland's Home Safety Equipment Scheme today. We are looking forward to working locally with health visitors, fire officers and a range of other partners who visit families and who can help identify those who would benefit most from this potentially life-saving equipment.
"RoSPA Scotland will be delivering a comprehensive programme of training on the most common accidents involving young children, as well as the most appropriate ways to prevent these accidents from happening. All practitioners involved in the scheme will be trained and we will also be co-ordinating training for the equipment fitters in each area."
Tina Burgess, senior health promotion officer for Western Isles NHS, said: "We are delighted that families in the Western Isles will benefit from this scheme and look forward to working with all our partnership agencies involved. Every child should be safe in their own home and this scheme will help to make that a reality."
Stewart Wilson, director of Tighean Innse Gall, said: "We are glad our local experience and expertise in the home safety field can assist RoSPA and our local partners to achieve their aims. Our home safety officer, together with our trained installers, will service clients' safety equipment needs throughout the full length of Western Isles, thereby preventing serious accidents and costly hospital admissions. To support vulnerable households in this way is a key objective of Tighean Innse Gall, as we think taking these simple steps can keep families safer."
Assistant Chief Officer Robert Scott, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service's director of service delivery, north, said: "The Home Safety Equipment Scheme is a perfect example of agencies working together for a safer Scotland.
"As the scheme is national, the new Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is uniquely placed to support the project. Colleagues from across the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are working behind the scenes to facilitate training sessions for operatives fitting the equipment and to provide logistical support to the programme.
"I'm delighted to work with RoSPA and other partner agencies in this important safety initiative."