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KOPS – Keeping Older People Safe

Keeping Older People Safe (KOPS) is an ongoing programme of support work led by VANEL. The initiative is simply to deliver support services that have the objective of helping older, often more vulnerable people, feel safer and more secure. This can mean; protection against scam; personal safety; household safety; weather safety advice; fire safety advice and more.

KOPS as a programme is often delivered in partnership and relies on funding to deliver different aspects in different ways across North East Lincolnshire.


KOPS began near the end of 2020 during lockdown, with a project delivered by Capacity Buildings Ltd and funded through the CSP Crime Reduction Fund. That project produced “Stay Safe” guidebooks which were originally distributed (with help from the Policing teams) to older people receiving their first vaccines.

Those “Stay Safe” booklets were then reprinted several times with additional funding. Big Local North Cleethorpes funded Cleethorpes guides and ward councillor funding paid for an East Marsh edition. A West Marsh edition was funded through a Neighbourhood Networking programme led by VANEL. Several thousand copies of these guides have since been distributed across the borough.

Since that project ended in early 2021, VANEL has continued to deliver support under the KOPS initiative in different ways.

Big Local North Cleethorpes currently funds KOPS in Cleethorpes which covers Sidney Sussex and Croft Baker wards.

And the Community Safety Partnership part funds the KOPS initiative so that VANEL can deliver additional support.

In 2022 VANEL has received match funding from FraudWatch which allows us to deliver scams and fraud awareness (and avoidance) training across North East Lincolnshire. Many of these sessions directly advise older people under our KOPS programme.

VANEL will continue to raise grants or seek financial support so that we can deliver the KOPS programme into the future.

Elements of KOPS

Stay Safe guidebooks

This original project was led by Capacity Buildings Ltd. See the KOPS page on that website where you can download the Stay Safe guides.

For Cleethorpes guidebooks please contact Big Local North Cleethorpes. 

For East Marsh guidebooks please contact ward councillor Steve Beasant

For West Marsh guidebooks please contact West Marsh Community Centre or the local Neighbourhood Policing Team.

Keeping Older People Safe in Cleethorpes

A partnership with Big Local North Cleethorpes. They fund KOPS to specifically support older people within their geographical area of interest (Sidney Sussex and Croft Baker wards mainly). This allows VANEL and Big Local to deliver our various initiatives effectively in this area.

Big Local KOPS webpage is here.

KOPS newsletter

Mainly aimed at Cleethorpes residents, this quarterly news sheet about community safety was first published August 2022. The second was published in December 2022.

Funded by Big Local North Cleethorpes, so see details about the KOPS newsletter here.

KOPS events for Older People

In 2023 we’re organising a couple of open events for older people to attend to get information and support. These KOPS branded events will take place in West Marsh (April) and East Marsh (July) using the legacy of the Safer Streets programmes in those areas.

West Marsh KOPS event 20th April 2023
East Marsh KOPS event 7th July 2023 (details soon)

Scams and Fraud briefings

We’ve now delivered scams talks (or more official training) to hundreds of older residents. Thank you to all the organisations who’ve invited us to talk.

Thanks to funding from FraudWatch (2022) we are continuing to deliver talks to groups across North East Lincolnshire during 2022. 

If you are interested in arranging a session for your group, please contact Karl at VANEL. 

Neighbourhood Watch

An effective way to keep older people safer is to have an operational Neighbourhood Watch Group in the area. VANEL is the official point of contact for Neighbourhood Watch in North East Lincolnshire and we’re actively working to support existing groups and to start new ones. 

If you and your neighbours are interested in Neighbourhood Watch then there is a local website with full information, and you can contact Karl Elliott at VANEL to discuss this further.

Neighbourhood Networks

Beyond Neighbourhood Watch, VANEL is also supportive of other neighbourhood groups led by residents that keep people and communities safer. We’ve help kick start Allotment Watch and Park Watch groups and we encourage and support other “Friends of” groups or simple groups where neighbours watch out for each other. Again, contact Karl Elliott at VANEL for more information.

No Cold Callers

We have a supply of “No Cold Caller” window stickers. These can be put in your window or front door to discourage cold calling tradespeople. We’re looking at other ways to help people to stay safe from nuisance door knocking tradespeople (such as “Trusted Trader” type schemes).

If you need No Cold Caller stickers, please contact VANEL or Big Local North Cleethorpes or speak to your local Neighbourhood Policing Team.

Message in a Bottle

The “Message in a Bottle” scheme is run nationally by Lions. MIAB bottles go in the fridge door and contain a form with lots of important information about the householder just in case emergency services need information. VANEL have a supply of bottles and are distributing them to groups as necessary. Contact VANEL or Big Local North Cleethorpes if you need a bottle or two.


More information soon…