A series of events is taking place to highlight the work supporting vulnerable adults.
SAFE (Safeguarding Adults for Everyone) week – which runs from November 1 to 6 – aims to raise awareness of the abuse and harm that can be suffered by vulnerable adults at risk.
Activities are being held in borough schools, care homes and council offices.
The North Tyneside Council team is planning a secret ‘yarn bombing’ where people will wake up on Tuesday morning to the strange sight of socks and gloves hanging from trees and posts.
There are competitions in schools, dozens of coffee and cake mornings and even a zip-line from the Tyne Bridge with the charity Action on Elder Abuse.
Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “I know that a lot of good work is being carried out here in North Tyneside and safeguarding vulnerable adults is one of our top priorities.
“However we all have a responsibility to look out for those who are more vulnerable regardless of their age and whether they are our family, neighbours, friends or work colleagues.”
She added: “So if you do see something that worries you, please speak up and please report it.”
Adults at risk of harm are people over 18 who may be unable to take care of themselves and protect themselves from harm or exploitation because they are physically disabled, have mental health problems, learning difficulties or are frail, elderly or ill.
Abuse takes many forms – from physical, sexual, emotional and psychological, to institutional, financial, discriminatory and neglect, including self neglect.
There is no easy way to identify signs of abuse, but some of the signs may be: Multiple bruising or finger marks; Injuries the person cannot give a good reason for; Deterioration of health for no apparent reason; Loss of weight; Inappropriate or inadequate clothing; Withdrawal or changes in usual behaviour; A person who is unwilling to be alone with a particular carer; or Unexplained shortage of money.
SAFE week is a joint initiative between North Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland councils in partnership with Health, The Police, and voluntary and private agencies who all want to make sure that vulnerable people are protected.
Anyone concerned that a vulnerable adult is being abused should contact (0191) 643 2777 or the out of hours number (0191) 200 6800.