‘Safe Space’ launched on Broad Street to keep weekend partygoers healthy

A ‘Safe Space’ that provides people with a place to go if they need help on a night out has been launched on Broad Street, Birmingham.

The new facility, supported by a dedicated team from St John’s Ambulance with input from West Midlands Ambulance Service and West Midlands Police, is designed to help those who feel unwell or need assistance.

Support is on hand for those who become detached from their group of friends, providing everything from a medical assessment or the way down to simply recharging their phone.

Cllr Waseem Zaffar, the cabinet member for Transport & Environment at Birmingham City Council, and a director of Westside BID, visited Broad Street at the weekend to interview those involved in the ‘Safe Space’ project.

And Westside BID’s videographer Jas Sansi was there to record what everyone said about the new service, which will be available every Friday and Saturday night.

Peter Willis, senior warden of Westside BID, said: “The ‘Safe Space’ is an invaluable resource. Until now, when we’re dealing with someone who’s vulnerable or who needs medical treatment, it normally requires ringing a ambulance, police or another service.

“But now we can just bring them to the ‘Safe Space’ where there’s medical staff who can assess their needs and decide whether they need to go to hospital or can actually just go home.

“It can be for anyone who perhaps just needs to charge their phone or who needs to ring someone to come and get them.”

Sgt Louise McMullen, of West Midlands Police, said the new service would be of real assistance to the emergency services.

She said: “One of our priorities is making sure people have a great night out, that they are looked after, kept safe and get home safely. We know that people don’t always have their phones charged.”

Lewis Davies, of West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “We’re based here every Friday and Saturday night on Broad Street, essentially as an additional resource to support the area.

“The ultimate goal is to try to reduce hospital admissions where possible by seeing people here.”

Jack Keegan, of St John’s Ambulance, said: “From the treatment centre we’ve got the facility to see patients and monitor them. If they’re injured or need help we’ve got a bed and we’ve got some chairs.”

Cllr Zaffar added: “As we reopen services right across out city, I just want to say a big thank you to everyone involved in this ‘Safe Space’, and a big welcome to everyone who comes back to Broad Street.

“This is a safe place for you to come and enjoy yourselves, and the services here are really important and are here to support you.

“As a Westside BID director, I’m really proud to serve alongside colleagues who do such great work here in our city.”

By Steve Dyson

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