Night-time safety boost as Safe Space announces new Christmas dates

Night-time safety boost as Safe Space announces new Christmas dates

Chester’s popular Safe Space initiative has announced additional Christmas dates to cover the busy party season following a successful year of helping people in the city centre

Chester’s Safe Space has announced a series of new opening dates throughout December to help Chester residents and visitors stay safe during the festive period.

The scheme, introduced by key groups including CH1ChesterBID and Cheshire West and Chester Council, launched in 2018 as part of the city’s Purple Flag scheme to help make Chester’s evening and night-time economy safer and more welcoming.

Located in the pedestrianised area of Foregate Street, near the Eastgate Clock, the mobile welfare unit has added three new dates during December, with the space continuing to offer a combination of emergency medical care and help for anyone that may have become vulnerable on a night out.

On top of the regular Saturday night slots between 10pm and 4.30am, the unit will now be open on; Friday, 13 December; Friday, 20 December, and Monday, 16 December – typically a busy student Christmas night.

Nick White, City Centre Manager for CH1ChesterBID said: “Safe Space has certainly helped to make the Chester evening and night-time economy even more welcoming for hundreds of visitors and residents over the past year.

“The medical technicians, volunteers and security staff have done a fantastic job aiding vulnerable people in our city centre and making Chester an enjoyable place to spend an evening. Their work has contributed to a cleaner, safer and more vibrant city, so we’d like to sincerely thank them for their efforts.

“Moving forward as a BID, we want to continue working towards a night-time environment in Chester that encourages everyone to come together in the best interests of the city. Positive schemes such as Safe Space as part of the wider Purple Flag initiative benefit not only local residents and visitors but also the businesses we represent, so we’ll continue to support them during our next five-year term.”

Safe Space has also helped people with a variety of other needs, with staff providing mental health support, signposting people to other areas of the city centre and even offering to charge mobile phones for those in need.

Further commenting on the success of the initiative, Jenni Haken, Chair of Chester Pubwatch said: “The Chester Safe Space is a valuable asset to the night-time economy in the City.

“Knowing the Safe Space is there when needed for any of our customers, should they be injured or vulnerable, provides peace of mind, knowing a customer is in safe hands. The volunteers there are only a radio call away should we require assistance and the support is invaluable.”

Chester Against Business Crime has overseen the project, which has been funded by Cheshire West and Chester Council, with the service running every Saturday night between 10pm and 4.30am.

Bob Lelliott, Chester Against Business Crime Manager, said of the project: “It’s wonderful that the Safe Space has helped so many people across Chester over the last year. Chester’s night-time economy is thriving because of initiatives such as this, which encourage people to enjoy an evening out, safe in the knowledge there are provisions for them should they be needed.

“Safe Space is part of a wider strategy to support the city and complements further projects including ‘Drink Less Enjoy More’ and the ‘Blue Light Project’, which all make our residents and visitors feel safer on nights out.”

For more information about Chester’s Safe Space and to find out more about becoming a volunteer for the service, please email the Safe Space team on chestersafespace@outlook.com