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October 2022

Hadrian’s wall and building blocks for safeguarding …

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes 30 seconds

My apologies for the late posting of this month’s blog.

As I am sure you will remember from school history lessons, Hadrian’s Wall once marked the very northern edge of the Roman Empire, and was built to intimidate the local tribes. Now a UNESCO world heritage site, Hadrian’s Wall is the largest and most important Roman site in Britain.

I recently spent a week in Northumberland and got the chance to see the wall for the first time. Wow, what an amazing piece of engineering on a huge scale. Construction likely started around A.D. 122, after Hadrian visited the Roman province then known as Britannia, and it’s thought to have taken an army of 15,000 men at least six years to complete it.

This year, communities along Hadrian’s Wall have been celebrating the 1900th anniversary of the start of the wall’s construction (Hadrian's Wall Gallery. BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2014).

I did a number of walks along the wall and could not help but think about the skill that went into its construction. 45 miles of its length is built of stone (the remaining parts are turf). You can still clearly see milecastles (a small guard post to protect a gate) and turrets between the milecastles, see English Heritage History of Hadrian’s wall.

Looking more carefully at the wall when I stopped for a sandwich, I thought about those who built it, the skill of its construction, and the strength of its foundations which have enabled this structure to remain standing all these years later.

Walking on I was thinking about the foundations on which we are building Norfolk’s adult safeguarding practice. What kind of foundations might we need to think about? If asked, I would suggest that the ‘blocks’ of safeguarding adults practice would be:

  • preventative (it is always better to stop abuse and harm before it happens)
  • professional curiosity (ask the question)
  • engagement with people in your network (talk about safeguarding with people you are linked to (work, friends, family)
  • learning and shaping future practice (how can we do better?)

Please tell me what your suggested foundations are.

We will be holding the board’s annual development day in the middle of October, and this will be an interesting area to discuss.

One of the pieces of work the board will be looking at is our priorities for the next three years.

Is there a particular ‘building block’ we should be developing?

Thanks and goodbye to James

Some readers of this blog will know that James Butler, Executive Support Assistant to NSAB, has moved on to a new job with Essex Safeguarding Adults Board as their Safeguarding Adult Review Officer. James has been with the NSAB team since July 2019 and in that time helped to shape and deliver lots of the board’s work. I would like to take this opportunity to thank James for his enthusiasm, dedication, hard work, forensic eye for detail and endless patience when I asked him an IT question (!).

I would like to dedicate this blog to James, who is now helping take forward adult safeguarding in Essex.

Thank you.

Walter Lloyd-Smith
NSAB Board Manager

Email: [email protected]