Girl in the sunshine with skateboard and ipad

Staying safe

Have fun and stay safe

Enjoying yourself is part of being young but you need to think about your safety too. Safe Havens, are places to go if you find yourself in a difficult situation.

Your safety

Find out about how to be safe while still having a good time and getting on with your life.

Lift and Platform are safe places to be. You can just hang out or use the free laptops, computers or WIFI, or take advantage of the wide range of services that include personal help. You can also go along to the creative and digital youth centre, Soapbox.

Organisations that can help:

Check out these Stay Safe tips on being safe when travelling, working, using the internet and your mobile phone:

  • Always leave a message about where you are going and when you will return - update someone if your plans change.
  • Don’t rely on a mobile phone to get you out of trouble.
  • People:
    - if you feel uncomfortable or uneasy about someone, move away and try to join a group of people. That gut or intuitive feeling is often right.
    - be careful about giving personal information about yourself - your name, address, school or college, to people you don’t know well or know at all.
  • At work or on work experience your employer has to provide a safety policy, adequate training and protective clothing but everyone has a responsibility to keep the workplace safe, including you. You should:
    - ask if you don’t understand the safety policy
    - use all the equipment and protective clothing provided
    - report things that seem dangerous, damaged or faulty
    - only use tools or equipment after you have been trained
    - never play practical jokes

If you have serious concerns or are worried about health and safety, and the company seems to ignore them, you can contact Citizens Advice for advice on health and safety.

Health and Safety is the responsibility of your local council or the Health and Safety Executive. Contact your local council if you work in the following areas: residential homes, shops, some warehouses, most offices, hotel and catering, sport and leisure, consumer services and places of worship. 

Find out more in the related information and services on this page.

Bullying and abuse

If you are being bullied or abused, it’s not your fault and you don’t have to put up with it; there are people who can help.

You can be bullied in lots of different ways:

  • people saying horrible things to you, this is verbal abuse
  • being hit, kicked or threatened with violence, this is physical abuse
  • having your things taken
  • using mobile phones or other online services to abuse you, this is cyber bullying.

Bullies may be people at school, college, work or other people who live near you.

You could be being abused, exploited or suffering domestic violence, if a member of your family or someone you know is:

  • hitting you
  • saying cruel things to you or blaming you unfairly, sometimes called emotional or verbal abuse
  • not looking after you properly – sometimes called neglect
  • touching you in a way you don’t like, saying sexual things to you or showing you sexual pictures, this is sexual abuse.
  • doing something sexual that you’re uncomfortable with and getting money, status or power from it, this is sexual exploitation.

It can affect you even if you are not being abused but someone close to you is. It is not unusual to find it difficult to talk about if you are being abused.

Organisations that can help:

  • Bullying UK - live online support, tips to combat bullying and cyberbullying
  • Young Minds - help and support

Find out more in the related information and services on this page.

Health and safety at work

Health and safety at work is everyone’s responsibility, so it is important that you think about yourself and others’ safety too. You should:

  • always follow safety instructions given to you and take notice of safety signs –  ask if you don’t understand
  • use any safety clothing and equipment provided and don’t use anything that could be dangerous until you have been properly trained - report anything dangerous, damaged or faulty
  • don’t leave things lying around or play practical jokes.

By law, your employer must keep you safe when you’re working. They should:

  • provide you with the right equipment and safety clothing wherever you work – in an office, a factory, building site or hospital
  • make sure you have health and safety training including how to lift, store and move heavy things
  • not put you under lots of stress – some stress at work is normal
  • have a health and safety policy and make regular safety checks (this may be called a risk assessment)
  • only let you back to work after an accident or health problem if it will not put you or others in danger.

Organisations that can help:

  • GOV.UK -  information about health and safety at work
Internet safety and personal info

Using the internet and social networking sites is fun but you need to be careful.

Whenever you put information like your name and address on sites like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, it’s hard to control what happens to it, so it is better not to tell people your home, school or work address, mobile number, private email address or your date of birth. It can be used by other people in ways that you did not mean, such as stealing your identity and pretending to be you.

Keep your password safe and don’t choose one that someone could guess.

Some people who use chat rooms, forums, online gaming or social network sites may not be who they say they are, so make sure you are careful about what you tell them. Never arrange to meet someone you have talked to on the internet without telling your parents or an adult you trust.

Organisations that can help:

Find out more in the related information and services on this page.

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