Lockdown is difficult for everyone, but it can be even harder if you don’t feel safe - and it is important to know who to call if you are worried about yourself, a friend, a family member or your neighbours.
That’s why we have created a campaign that helps everyone understand what to do when you feel something isn’t right.
We will be using the badge shown here and are working with artists from all over Barking and Dagenham to create materials that will be shared on social media and printed onto leaflets and posters.
Look out for the material in safe spaces such as pharmacies, council buildings and community hubs. You will also see them on noticeboards in estates across the borough. You can search online with #BDProtect as we share the artwork that is created throughout the COVID-19 recovery period and beyond.
This page provides information and links to services that can help if you think someone needs a little help to be safe.
You can listen to the #BDProtect podcast on Spotify.
Campaign posters and materials can downloaded below.
A special thank you to the artists, please do check out their social media pages and websites:
- Aislinn Evans: @AislinnEvans
- Susannah Wallis: @susannawallis
- Miro Tomarkin: @mirotomarkin
- Sahra Hersi
- Jess Burnett: @JessBurnettsArt
- Katie Peck
- Griffi: @griffi2468
And a big thank you to the organisations that helped connect us to the artists and supported the process:
You know when something does not feel right.
Speak out and keep each other safe!
If someone's life is in danger call 999 immediately.
If you are worried about a child's safety call 020 8227 3811.
If you are worried about an adult's safety call 020 8227 2915.
For domestic abuse support call 0300 456 0174
- What is an emergency?
- Keeping children safe
- Keeping adults safe
- Domestic abuse
- Substance misuse
- Money and debt
- Campaign posters and materials
What is an emergency?
It can be confusing to know when to call the police, and sometimes we don’t want to feel like we are overreacting - but we all know that gut feeling when something isn’t right.
Sometimes when we hear fighting, shouting, or witness a domestic incident we can feel like we will make the situation worse or that people will know you called. You do not have to provide your name or details if you call the police, although it can be helpful later on if you are willing to provide a statement.
We have spoken to abuse survivors who have been in these situations and they have a clear message:
“I wish someone had called the police earlier. Eventually a new neighbour moved in and called the police when she heard me screaming. The police arrived and arrested my ex-partner and referred me to services that could help. I am so grateful she called that day. If you hear or see something that frightens you, please call the police. Nobody should have to live in fear - you could change someone’s life.”
If the situation is getting heated or violent, or someone is in immediate danger then please call the police on 999.
Find out more:
Keeping children safe
All children can be vulnerable sometimes, and it is only natural to worry about their safety. There can be a fear that reporting a concern will lead to social care involvement and the removal of children from the parent’s care.
Whilst in a small number of cases this might happen it would only happen after a significant amount of help is offered to the family and where there is no other way to keep the child safe.
In most cases social services can open doors to friendly support that helps families get back on track. In fact, here is what some families have said about the support they received in Barking and Dagenham:
“We would like to continue receiving the support we have had from Childrens Social Care - my family and the professionals have worked well as a team and I feel it can only be more positive for my son if the support from them continues.”
From a parent receiving support from our Specialist Intervention Service.
“I would like to take this opportunity to comment on the outstanding help I have received over the past few months from [my Family Group Conference Coordinator]. She has been such a big help in getting my daughter back on the right road. Always there when I needed a few words of encouragement or maybe to look at things in a different perspective.”
From a parent receiving support from our Specialist Intervention Service.
“Thank you ladies, lovely to hear from you. I miss our little group and can’t wait for it to start up again”
From a domestic abuse survivor attending a group delivered by Community Solutions Intervention Team.
“Thank you so much for having me at the group today, it helped me a lot as I don’t go out and see anyone. It was so nice to be around people as well, adults! Thanks so much for the flowers, I wasn’t expecting it and it is nice to be appreciated. It was hard for me at one point today, to see everyone and how hurt they looked from their experiences, but I enjoyed today and it is definitely something I would like to do professionally”
From a domestic abuse survivor who returned to a group to speak to reassure that hope and recovery is possible, and who is going on to volunteer to help other survivors.
“Hi I would like to say thank you very much. I read the report and it was very good so thank you.”
From a Grandparent being supported to care for a grandchild.
We have a wide range of support for families. If you are a friend or family member, or a neighbour you can share the details of our support for:
or you can call Early Help on 020 8227 5600 from 9am to 4.45pm Monday to Friday.
If you cannot share the information but feel a family would benefit from help to keep children and young people safe then visit the Safeguarding at risk children page to find out more information:
or call the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub on 020 8227 3811.
Keeping adults safe
Some adults may be less able to protect themselves because of mental or physical disability, their age, or an illness.
Living a life free from harm and abuse is everyone’s human right. We all need to act as good neighbours and citizens to look out and care for one another. We all have a role to help one another to stay safe and free from abuse and neglect.
People who hoard / self-neglect may experience poor health and wellbeing and are considered at risk too - if you think someone needs a little help then please let us know.
Here is a case study showing how we were able to keep a vulnerable adult safe by working together:
Residents reported concerns about noise and antisocial behaviour from a young couple that had moved in with a neighbour. The residents had no issues with the neighbour but were not happy about the behaviour from the newcomers.
The housing officer was concerned that the new arrivals might be exploiting the neighbour. She had mild learning disabilities and the housing officer raised an adult safeguarding alert.
Following several visits from social workers and police, it became clear that the woman had full capacity to make the decision as to who she let in to her house, but that the newcomers were not previously known to her and were taking advantage of her friendly nature.
We always make sure that we are supporting residents to make their own decisions and to understand their options. Under housing rules, the neighbour was not allowed to add others to the tenancy, and so she was offered support to ask the couple to leave. The couple left and the woman had her home back.
She said she was sometimes a bit lonely which had led to her wanting some company, particularly through lockdown. Social workers connected her to several peer support groups and engagement activities to help tackle the loneliness and help her to feel like she is not alone.
Her housing officer pops by to say hello every now and then too.
It is only through working together: neighbours, housing officers, social workers, police, community groups, that we were able to make sure the woman was safe and felt safe.
If you hear or see something that does not feel right, or you think a vulnerable adult needs help keeping safe then you can find all details at:
or you can call 020 8227 2915 during working hours and 020 8594 8356 out of hours.
Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.
For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you, including police response, online support, helplines, refuges and other services.
For anyone that is worried about a friend, family member or neighbour, that same help is available to you to make sure you can support them appropriately.
#BDProtect is about being able to ask for help on behalf of someone who may not be able to ask for help by themselves.
Our locally commissioned service delivered by Refuge can assist any person living in Barking and Dagenham who is experiencing domestic abuse and you can reach them on 0300 456 0174 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
Find out more about domestic abuse here, including services that can help:
Avoiding public spaces and working at home can help to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but for many, home may not be the safest option.
External factors that add stress and financial strain can negatively impact relationships.
You might want to use drink or drugs, which may include over the counter medication, because you are worried or feeling down. This might make you feel worse and affect your physical and mental health.
Some drugs (particularly opioids like tramadol and codeine) are also more dangerous to do on our own because there is no one to help if you overdose. If you or someone you know requires support and/or advice, support is available.
You might also be worried about family members or friends who are using substances.
Visit our drugs and alcohol page for more information:
You can talk to FRANK in 120 languages, just call the same number and an interpreter will be there if you want.
FRANK Helpline website
Call: 0300 123 6600 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
St Luke’s Service
Provides drug and alcohol treatment for adults 18-years and over. Delivers a non-judgemental support through psychological and pharmacological interventions, advice and information is also available.
St Lukes Service website
Call: 020 8595 1375 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).
Email: StLukes@cgl.org.uk Web:
Provides drugs and alcohol treatment for young people under 21 (and where applicable young people up to the age of 24). Delivers a range of interventions which are age appropriate and will also provide advice and information.
Call: 0300 303 4613 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)
In an Emergency
if you are with someone who needs medical help, call an ambulance, and tell the crew everything you know about the drugs taken - it could save their life. If you have any drugs left, hand them over to the crew, as it may help. They will not tell the Police.
Money and debt
Unemployment, furlough situations due to COVID-19 and debt can create incredible strain on families who are trying their best to look after children and vulnerable adults. Sometimes a little support can help you get back on track.
Visit our money and debt page to find out more about how to manage debt, budgeting, benefits and assistance with food:
You can also call the Homes and Money Hub on 020 8724 2115 or 020 8227 2927.
Campaign posters and materials
Sonia Ali - FGM poster (PDF, 1.5MB)
BDYD - Butterfly poster (PDF, 1.3MB)
Aislinn - Semaphoria poster (PDF, 2.4MB)
Semaphoria instruction booklet (PDF, 421KB)
Miro Tomarkin - Stepping stones poster (PDF, 3.3MB)
Sahra Hersi - Connections poster (PDF, 487KB)
Jess Burnett - Domestic abuse posters (PDF, 622KB)
Katie Peck - Here to help poster (PDF, 507KB)
Griffi - Domestic abuse poster (PDF, 456KB)
#BDProtect badge (PDF, 340KB)
#BDProtect label (PDF, 492KB)