News item

Morrisons staff help local community in fight against scams and doorstep crime

Photo of The Feeling Good Theatre - SAFER project

On Thursday 13 November 2014, a team of employees based at the head office of Wm Morrisons Supermarkets Plc in Bradford will be giving up their day job to help older residents from the local community protect themselves from scams, frauds and doorstep crime by delivering activities as part of ‘The SAFER Project’. The initiative is a community education and empowerment project funded by the Big Lottery Fund and is delivered by West Yorkshire trading standards. The partnership work follows on from other activities being delivered as part of National Consumer Week, a campaign led by the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), Citizens Advice and the National Trading Standards Board which encourages 'Good neighbours to stop rogue traders' and focuses on preventing doorstep crime by encouraging everyone to look out for those most at risk in their communities.

New statistics provided by the National Trading Standards Doorstep Crime Project show that older residents who have been targeted by or become victim to doorstep cons are often isolated and living alone, with the majority of those residents only leaving the house once a week to go to their local supermarket. David Lodge, Head of West Yorkshire trading standards said, “This research demonstrates the vital role that supermarkets can play when it comes to helping reach out to and educate the most isolated and vulnerable residents in our communities from scams and doorstep crime”.

Morrisons supply chain staff decided that rather than planning a traditional ‘team building day’ for employees, they wanted to give something back to their local community and the SAFER Project was an ideal way to do this given the recent statistics.

The SAFER team recently delivered some training to Morrisons employees about helping potential victims stay safe and they will be using this knowledge to put on a ‘community safety day’, kicking off at 10.30am at the Morrisons Thornbury store, just off Leeds Old Road in Bradford. Older and vulnerable residents visiting the store will be able to discuss any concerns that they may have over a cuppa in the Morrisons café or visit the information stalls supported by The SAFER Project Officers. Staff will also be helping to bag pack, giving out SAFER self help packs and playing updates over the tannoy system to get customers engaged with the occasion.

Ian Richardson, manager of Morrisons supermarket in Thornbury said, “We take pride in the fact that we have many regular customers who visit our supermarkets, and we feel it is important to look after them not just in store, but out in their local communities as well. We are delighted to be working with The SAFER Project to help our customers feel safer in their homes and the community in which they live”. 

The day’s event will conclude with a performance by The Feeling Good Theatre Company, a charity made up of a group of older people from West Yorkshire Playhouse who deliver light hearted sketches on doorstep crime to raise awareness of how to deal with bogus callers to stay safe in your home. 

The show will take place over the road from the Morrisons Thornbury store at the Thornbury Methodist Church on Leeds Old Road and is free to attend for all. Guests will be treated to free welcome cakes and refreshments provided by Morrisons head office from 1pm along with a chance to win a variety of raffle prizes. If you have not already picked up your free invitation to the event, you can do so by collecting one from the Morrisons Thornbury store customer service desk or by registering your name with Lanson Moore, SAFER project officer on 0113 393 9808.

Cllr Val Slater, Chair of the West Yorkshire trading standards committee said, “We are delighted that Morrisons have chosen to get involved with The SAFER Project to support the residents of Bradford. It is a great example of how this type of partnership working can help tackle serious issues in an informal and convenient way, and raises awareness of the real issues which their older and vulnerable customers face on a regular basis. 

Other research from the National Doorstep Crime Project indicates that other services and businesses who are also fundamental in helping to reach out to isolated older people are hairdressers, banks, doctor’s surgeries and places of worship. If you are reading this and think your organisation or business could get involved with The SAFER Project please contact Lanson Moore on 0113 393 9808.

Notes to editor: 

For further information on the SAFER Project or the event contact: Lanson Moore, SAFER Project Officer on: 0113 3939808/ 

DATE: 10 November 2014