Businesses in Henley are being encouraged to sign up to a new scheme to help provide a safe place to go if someone is feeling lost, worried or threatened.
‘Safe Places’ launches in Henley this March. Under the scheme, a vulnerable person can enter a participating location where trained staff will offer help to keep them safe.
Retailers, charities and other venues can register an interest in becoming a Safe Place by emailing South Oxfordshire District Council’s Community Safety team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01235 422593.
Participating locations will be invited to a special training session on Monday 26 February or Thursday 8 March at Henley Fire Station, with 45-minute slots available at 10am, 12:30pm and 5:30pm.
Once a member of staff has attended the training the location will receive an orange and yellow window sticker and can start supporting the Safe Places network. They will also be added to the Safe Places map – safeplaces.org.uk/member-schemes/south-oxfordshire/ and mobile phone app.
Cllr Elizabeth Gillespie, Cabinet Member for Housing and Environment at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “We’ve already received a great response to Safe Places in Wallingford and Didcot with 27 locations signed up.
“This scheme provides vital support to those who are feeling vulnerable in our town centres, so it is only right that we extend it to more areas of the district and I urge retailers, charities and other organisations in Henley to register as a ‘Safe Place’.”
Helen Barnett, Henley Town Manager said, “We are encouraging businesses to be involved with this ‘Safe Place’ initiative. This is a very valuable initiative which helps give vulnerable people more confidence and provides an easily recognisable safe haven for a person who needs help. The South and Vale Community Safety Partnership are rolling this out across the district so we urge our Henley retailers and companies to help by attending a training session so they are able to help. Henley Town Council will be sending several people on the training so we can make the Town Hall a ‘Safe Place’. There will then always be someone in the building who is qualified to assist.”