The Listening Ear and the Watchful Eye

Protecting Vulnerable people from harm. Safeguarding at your event.

People to manage traffic, people to park cars, people to check tickets, people to sell food, drink and merchandise.

People to protect the fence, people to evict troublemakers, people to stop fights and disorder and people to pick up litter.

There are lots of staff at every event and every venue but who is there to focus on protecting the vulnerable from harm? Who is there actively looking to Safeguard your customers and staff, their friends and family?

The Listening Ear and the Watchful Eye is a brand new service designed solely to protect vulnerable people at your event or venue, from harm, Safeguarding and signposting those who may need help and support.

As an organiser, you have responsibility and accountability for what happens at the event and this ever increasing burden increases the risk to you if things go wrong. There are recent tragic examples where people have died or suffered significant harm, simply because no-one noticed them and their state of vulnerability at the time.

So what does The Listening Ear and the Watchful Eye provide in terms of service to you and your customers? In simple words, we look out for people who are vulnerable and at risk, and take action to reduce or remove that risk. We help you to save lives and reduce harm to those who may be, or have become vulnerable at your event.

We do not provide security services, we do not provide medical help.

We provide a very visible presence across the event reassuring your customers and identifying and responding to potential safeguarding and vulnerability incidents.

People may be vulnerable through either personal factors or situational factors. Here are some practical examples of how The Listening Ear and the Watchful Eye can respond and help.

Example 1: John is 13 and has wandered off alone. He is affected by alcohol or other drugs and has fallen asleep on the grass. Wake him, check for friends, does he need medical help? Who is responsible for him? Make him safe.

Example 2: Mira is scared and crying. She is talking mostly in a language you do not recognise. She doesn’t want to engage with you. Reassure her, look for signs of friends nearby? Who are they? What is she doing here? Why is she scared? Persuade her to come with you to your ‘Space’ (Office/tent/building). Liaise with event control and other agencies. Build trust.

Example 3: Tomascz has learning difficulties and is at the event alone. He has become disorientated and is getting agitated. A nearby group of men are taunting him. Go to him, stay with him. Help him to calm down and reassure him. Does he have friends/family/carer at the festival who can help and support him? Where is his tent? Make contact with his carers and re-unite them. Give him tea and a place to rest and relax.

Example 4: Lydia has bruising to her face and is covered in mud. Other festival goers approach you and tell you of their concerns. She has been arguing with a man who is very abusive towards her. The tent door is open. No-one else is there. You reassure Lydia. You go with her for medical first aid. Your instinct tells you all is not right with Lydia and the man who is her partner? You call someone from the multi-agency team to help. You take names and contact details of the other people who first raised their concerns about Lydia.

Example 5: Six men are brought to the festival every morning at 6am in a white van….they are dressed in t-shirts and scruffy, dirty jeans. Each has a bucket and cleaning materials and they appear to clean the shower block and luxury toilets each day until 9pm.   The driver of the white van appears to be in charge and is heard shouting abuse at the men throughout the day. Which company are the men working for? Do they speak to you openly? Are they getting regular breaks and being fed and watered? Liaise with the event organiser. Speak to Police control. Observe and take note of what happens.

Example 6: A man is seen handing out vodka jelly to young girls. He also gives them a leaflet. He is in the same area every day. Watch and observe. Liaise with event organisers. Is he a trader? Who are the girls? Report your concerns.

The Listening Ear and the Watchful Eye team are all Accredited under theCommunity Safety Accreditation Scheme    (Pending) This is a Government scheme whereby Accredited People become part of the Extended Police Family. They are all vetted by the local police to an appropriate level and have been given suitable training to carry out their role of protecting vulnerable people from harm and reporting their concerns to the appropriate agency. They receive regular training covering all Safeguarding issues from awareness of Mental Health, Child Criminal exploitation, Child Sexual Exploitation, Modern Slavery, Domestic Abuse and awareness sessions around gender, sexual orientation, poverty, awareness of terrorism tactics and the Government’s Prevent strategy to counter the radicalisation of individuals in society. They are trained to communicate well and with respect.

The Listening Ear and the Watchful Eye team will be clearly visible and identifiable as providing a Safeguarding service at your event. They wear a Uniform (non-military in appearance) and have the skills to engage and enhance the reputation and feeling of safety at your event. Selected from diverse backgrounds, they provide a real ‘feel-good’ factor to any event.

The Listening Ear and the Watchful Eye will usually have a visible, approachable ‘base’ within the event which will always have at least 2 trained staff present. In addition the team will provide community engagement patrols on foot and in pairs. Coverage will depend on the requirement of the client.

The Listening Ear and the Watchful Eye team save lives. They help keep people safe and reduce risk of future harm.

They help you show how you are taking the issue of Community Safety and Safeguarding seriously for your event. They will help you to build the reputation of your event.