Safeguarding Adults Campaigns

This section gives advice and guidance on how to stay well, overcome loneliness and how to help someone with dementia. There is also guidance on how to stay warm and keep healthy in winter. There is also information about the Herbert Protocol which is a Durham Constabulary initiative designed to safeguard vulnerable adults when they go missing.  

The Royal Voluntary Service describes ten practical ways to help people with dementia. Check out their website [external link].

1. Treat the person with respect and dignity - people with dementia often feel very vulnerable so it is important to help them feel confident and valued. Encourage them to achieve small things for themselves.

2. Be a good listener - it can really help to talk things through, even if this is just a short weekly phone call.

3. Be a good communicator - speak calmly and wait for signs that the person has understood what you have said. Look the person in the eye and use physical contact to offer reassurance.

4. Remember that the little things can mean a lot. Dropping in for a cup of tea or helping to organise a photo album can help to show a person living with dementia that you care.

5. Stay in touch - hearing from someone briefly and frequently is better than receiving a long letter twice a year. Try to keep in touch as the person’s dementia progresses over time.

6. Offer practical help - two thirds of people with dementia live at home. Offering practical support with things like cutting the grass, putting the rubbish out or running an errand will make a big difference.

7. Organise a treat - think about what the person liked to do before their illness and try to adapt an activity to their current situation. You could go for a picnic in the park or watch an old film.

8. Help different family members in different ways - some family members may dedicate a lot of time to caring responsibilities so offering them support is important too.

9. Find out more about dementia - the more you know about dementia, the more confident you will feel spending time with the person with dementia and their loved ones. Visit the Alzheimer’s Society’s website on [external link] or call the Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 11 22 (Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm and Saturday and Sunday 10:00am - 4:00pm). The National Dementia Helpline provides information, advice, and support through listening, guidance and appropriate signposting to anyone affected by dementia.

10. Talk to the Royal Voluntary Service about services in your area - whether reducing isolation through a regular visit from a local Royal Voluntary Service volunteer or practical help like providing a lift to the doctor or meeting up with friends, the help Royal Voluntary Service offers is tailor made to what the older person needs.

If you are concerned about dementia contact the National Dementia Helpline for information, support and guidance on 0300 222 1122

People affected by dementia can also join the Talking Point discussion forums at [external link]  

For any enquiries about Dementia Friends go to

Whatever you're going through, call The Samaritans free any time, from any phone on 116 123.

The Samaritans are there for you round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need a response immediately, it's best to call on the number above. This number is FREE to call. Remember, you don't have to be suicidal to call The Samaritans.

You can’t really generalise how struggling to cope can make you feel or act, but if you think these symptoms sound like you or someone you know, please get in touch with The Samaritans [external link]. 

A few changes can make a big difference to your overall sense of well-being. Check out the Royal Voluntary Service website [external link] or the Age UK Darlington website [external link] for more advice.
Here are five small steps you can take to make you feel better.

1. Get active - Do some light exercise, whether it’s tending your garden, using the stairs more regularly or joining a walking club.

2. Get involved - Take steps to become more engaged in your local community by visiting a lunch club or volunteering at a local scheme. For information about activities in Darlington check out the Age UK website [external link]

3. Stay connected - Talking to people is one of the best ways to feel good and avoid loneliness. See friends and family regularly, or if you can't get out but would like some company try using the internet to keep in touch with people wherever they are. If you don’t have a computer at home most libraries have computers you can use free of charge, or for a small fee. Contact Royal Voluntary Service about its befriending and transport services so you have the practical support you need. Or contact Age UK [external link] and check out the Good Friends scheme in Darlington.

4. Eat well - A healthy and balanced diet will help you feel your best. It’s important to stay hydrated too.

5. Sleep well - You may find that your sleep patterns change as you get older and you need less sleep than you used to. It might make you feel lethargic and down. You can improve your sleep by reducing daytime naps, going to bed at the same time each night and reducing the amount of caffeine you drink.

How does the Herbert Protocol work?

The protocol will run throughout Darlington and County Durham. When you sign up the police will contact you to discuss the process and will suggest steps to prevent particularly vulnerable adults going missing.

The police will also explain the process to be followed to ensure a swift response should the person concerned fail to return home.

What do I do ?

Carers, family, friends, care providers and agencies can identify any vulnerable adult who is at risk of going missing. The police will then contact you and issue a standardised document for completion.
This document will provide the police with the right information at an early stage. Readily available information such as places frequented, which bus routes are used and areas which they are likely to frequent will help the police locate the person concerned at an early stage. You will also be encouraged to keep a recent photograph, an up to date list of medication and other specific information which can be accessed quickly.

You will be asked to keep the form and the photograph in an easily accessible place. If the vulnerable adult goes missing at that point you will contact the police and hand over the up to date form. This should help the police locate the missing person as quickly as possible.

For further information on how to access the document and contact Durham Police check out the Durham Constabulary Herbert Protocol leaflet [link] or see the Durham Constabulary website [external link] to request a form directly.


AGE UK has produced some excellent advice on how to keep warm and stay healthy in winter. For further information see