People with learning difficulties have new safe havens to visit in north Kirklees.
Staff at Halifax branches in Batley, Cleckheaton, Dewsbury and Mirfield are receiving special training in a new scheme between the bank and the Mencap charity.
It means that vulnerable people can seek help from the branches should they get lost or confused in the towns.
Under the Mencap in Kirklees Safe Places scheme, participating shops or businesses place stickers in their windows, so they know where they can get help.
When Mark Yarwood of Lloyds Banking Group, which owns the Halifax, learned about scheme, he contacted the organisation to see if they could help. Staff at the Dewsbury and Cleckheaton branches have now completed Safe Places training sessions, so they can provide support by listening, helping directly or contacting someone the person trusts. Batley and Mirfield staff will receive their training shortly.
Vicki Malone, the Cleckheaton branch manager, said: “To know that people like Andrew, who benefits from the Mencap in Kirklees Safe Places Scheme and who visited us recently, will feel safe and supported at our branch makes me feel proud.”
Samantha Jones, from Mencap, said “The expansion of the Safe Places scheme to Halifax branches in Kirklees will enable our participants to know that if ever they are confused, frightened or need help when they go out that the bank will provide a safe haven.
Damian Greenwood, director at the Halifax, said “We are proud that people in need can turn to our Kirklees branches should they need assistance and that our colleagues will be trained to support, reassure and assist wherever possible.”