Southside’s Safe Space proves a success

Southside’s Safe Space proves a success

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Southside Safe Space, which can be found in nightlife hotspot The Arcadian, has helped over 75 people stay safe on nights out since its inception just one month ago.

The facility is available between 12am and 5.30am on Saturday night and Sunday morning, and was introduced by Southside BID and West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner to support and protect revellers who may feel unwell, have lost their phone or bag or have become detached from their friends.

Operated by St John Ambulance Service and wardens from Southside BID, the initiative is helping around 15 people a night, who may otherwise have required emergency services support had Southside Safe Space not been introduced. The team are able to administer first-aid, decide on appropriate measures for each person and arrange for licenced taxis to take people home if needed.

Southside Safe Space is located in the walkway to The Arcadian car park, between popular bars Indi and Missoula, with local wardens raising awareness of the programme to people who may need it. Along with being a combative measure to help locals, the project is already having a positive impact on the number of police and ambulance call-outs.

The scheme is being funded for an initial three month trial by the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and Southside BID, with instrumental assistance from Birmingham Community Safety Partnership.

Jo Kinsella, centre manager at The Arcadian, said: “Birmingham is a lively and fun place for a night out and the vast majority of people have a fabulous time and head home without incident.

“However, we do see people who end up in difficult situations – often through no fault of their own. That is why we wanted to establish a place for them to go, which is safe and secure. I’m so proud of the instant impact the space has had – the whole of Southside wants to say thank you to the team who are working in the early hours.”

Ashley Bertie, deputy West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “We know that some people on a night out can run into difficulties, perhaps drink too much, and need help. That’s why we’re backing the Safe Space, and we have invested £8,000 in the project.

“If this facility keeps people safe and eases demand on our hard working police officers in the West Midlands then it will be money very well spent.”

Julia Robinson, manager at Southside BID, added: “The number of people Southside Safe Space has helped in just four weeks shows how necessary this project is. Everyone involved should feel immensely proud, and we’re glad to be making a difference to our community.”

For more information on the work of Southside BID, visit www.enjoysouthside.co.uk and follow the BID on Instagram @southsidebid and Twitter @enjoysouthside

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