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 in Stornoway on Friday (April 12) by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and NHS Western Isles, has been made a reality thanks to £265,000 of funding from the Scottish Government, and a support grant from NHS Western Isles. 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.
A steering committee for the project will work with Safety Wise Western Isles (a multi agency partnership that includes Action for Children, Early Years Partnership, Social Services, Hebridean Housing Partnership and the Community Nursing Teams) to ensure that families on low income benefit from the scheme.
Up to 100 families on the island will be identified, 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.
Carlene McAvoy, community safety development officer for RoSPA Scotland, said: "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.
"Accidents and unintentional injuries in the home are one of the main causes of hospital admissions and deaths in Scotland to children under the age of five. In most circumstance these accidents are preventable. NHS Western Isles is pleased to be acting as one of the lead agencies involved in this project working in partnership with a number of other agencies."
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."