Security firm Gough & Kelly is supporting a project to promote women’s safety at night in Leeds city centre.
Following a successful pilot in March 2022, the Women’s Night Safe Space is running from 10pm to 3am every Saturday night and other key dates. Funded by Safer Streets, and run in partnership with Safer Leeds, Women’s Lives Leeds, Women Friendly Leeds and Bevan Health Care, it provides a safe space located next to the Corn Exchange for women and girls to seek refuge, emotional and practical support in the city centre at night if they feel concerned, unsafe, unwell or vulnerable.
As well as a friendly face, the bus offers facilities including mobile phone charging; water, refreshments, and warm drinks; support calling a taxi; somewhere to talk through concerns and be signposted for further support; a safe place to report incidents to the police and wait for further assistance; or simply somewhere warm where women can wait for friends, so they are not alone.
Jennie Bell and Hope Anderson from Gough & Kelly work at the mobile unit. As well as emotional and practical support to people accessing the safe space, they provide security services to ensure the physical safety of everyone on the bus.
Jennie says, “I was involved in the pilot last year, and was very keen to be involved again. In my work I’ve seen the situations people can get into on a night out and a service like this is invaluable. From day one the feedback we’ve had from everyone has been so positive, saying that this is exactly what’s needed. It is a valued service and I’m proud to be involved.”
Shreena Gobey, Women’s Night Safe Coordinator, adds, “Our partnership with Gough & Kelly is invaluable in running Women’s Night Safe Space. Having female SIA security staff in our team helps make sure staff feel safe whilst doing vital work in Leeds City Centre. They are using their skills and experience in identifying and proactively responding to situations affecting women and girls, upholding the open, outreach model of non-judgmental support in the Safe Space.”
For more information about the Women’s Night Safe Space project, visit thier website.