Emergency services join forces in Gloucester celebration this weekend
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Gloucestershire Constabulary and Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue will be celebrating Emergency Services Day in Gloucester this Saturday (25 February).
The organisations are partnering with Kings Square and Eastgate Shopping Centre to run activities designed to support and raise awareness for the emergency services, both locally and nationally.
The activities will be running from 10am to 2pm.
A new Safe Space scheme will also be launched in Gloucester during the event.
The initiative provides safe and secure places for women to go to if they are being followed or feel under threat in any way. A number of businesses in the city have already signed up to the scheme, which was initially set up in Stroud last year and is now being introduced to Gloucester.
Its founder, Chrissy Lowery, will be attending this weekend and handing out personal attack alarms to women and girls at Eastgate Shopping Centre.
Chrissy has been working with Gloucester City Safe to expand the Safe Space scheme into Gloucester.
She said: “Businesses signing up to the scheme will support anyone who feels threatened, scared or at risk as they can walk into any of the premises which display a Safe Space sticker. You then tell a member of staff that you need a safe space.
"Once inside, you will be supported by a member of the scheme who will provide you with a safe and discrete way to reach police, friends, family and other resources you may need.”
At King’s Square, police officers will be offering advice, as well as displaying police vehicles, quad bikes and drones. Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service will also be present with a fire appliance and showcasing SkillZONE, a life skills initiative between the service and Gloucestershire County Council.
Chris Nelson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire, said: “We welcome this initiative and encourage businesses to get involved. My office has supported schemes like this in the past, which signposted vulnerable people to places where they could find help.
“The Safe Space Scheme offers practical help while at the same time spreading the message that male violence against women and girls is unacceptable.”
Chief Superintendent Jane Probert, Head of Local Policing and force lead for Violence and Intimidation Against Women and Girls, also welcomed the Safe Space initiative, and said she was grateful for safe spaces to be more available and accessible to support those in need, creating safer communities for all.
Young Gloucestershire will also be attending this weekend, showcasing the fantastic work they do for young people across the County, along with other partners supporting the event too.
Eastgate Centre Manager, Jason Robinson, said: “We are really looking forward to hosting the Emergency Services Day on Saturday, which will be a day to celebrate our fantastic, local emergency service workers and partners.”
Gloucester City Safe Manager, Steve Lindsay, said: “The Door Youth Club from Stroud and Dursley will also be coming over to visit the Knife Angel and have a tour of Gloucester Cathedral and we would like to thank all the volunteers who have supported this trip. It is important that visitors to the city get to see this monument.
“Gloucester BID and City Council have been instrumental in supporting the launch of the Safe Space scheme here in Gloucester. The success in Stroud and feedback on the scheme from businesses and the public has been fantastic and it is great to roll this out in Gloucester supported by our City Safe scheme.”
Gloucester City Safe is a not-for-profit Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP) formed by members of the Business Community with the sole intention of facilitating the reduction of crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.
It represents both day and night-time economies, working together to reduce shoplifting, theft, anti-social behaviour, alcohol related disorder, street drinking and begging which affect all businesses throughout Gloucester.
Safe Space Scheme is a community of businesses that provide a safe and secure place for women to go to if they are being followed or feel under threat in any way. Wherever you see the Safe Space logo, you know that the business welcomes you in immediately, no questions asked until the threat has passed.