Dunfermline Advice Hub is pleased to announce that we are a Safe Space! Safe Spaces are places where citizens and organisations agree to a set of values, ensuring that everyone is made to feel welcome, respected and safe. Fife Centre for Equalities who worked with us to refine the statement are aiming to learn from the Hub’s Safe Space commitment and work in partnership to encourage other organisations to adopt this approach
Everyone has seen sign in shops and services that say something along the lines of “We will not tolerate physical or verbal abuse towards our Staff”, and that’s quite correct- no one should ever work in a place where they will be abused.
However, let’s look at this from another perspective. This kind of statement presumes that citizens will be the instigators in a confrontation. What does someone do if it’s actually the staff member that is being disrespectful, inconsiderate or is not taking into account their wishes? Respect is a two-way street. Anyone who comes to the Hub needs to know that they will be valued and respected here, regardless of who they are, whether they are staff, volunteer, or citizen.
Our Safe Space Values
We always welcome feedback, and we want citizens to speak out if they feel they not being treated within the Safe Space Values. It’s so important, for us as workers and services, to know when we’re going wrong, and have the opportunity to correct that. However, that’s not always how it goes. It can be very difficult for someone to speak out, to be assertive or to articulate in the moment what’s wrong. Therefore, we’ve made it clear on our Safe Space Commitment posters on how you can do this using a variety of methods, including phone, social media, in person at another time, or email. All feedback and comments are treated with the strictest confidence, and we will always ensure that we will follow up on any complaints to everyone’s satisfaction.
Working together always presents us with challenges and difficulties, but the benefits always outweighs the negatives in this case. The Hub is all about reducing barriers, so we hope that with our Safe Space Values, we give everyone the opportunity to speak out, to learn from each other, to change our behaviour, and to respect others.