Wigan Youth Zone launches new safety campaign to support young people
Wigan Youth Zone has launched a new ‘Safety Campaign’ in partnership with Wigan Council and Greater Manchester Police, which is designed to provide its members with more information about personal safety.
Wigan Council’s Community Safety Fund, provided personal attack alarms that are to be distributed to the Youth Zone members, as part of a wider campaign which aims to ensure that young people feel safer in their community. The alarms can be attached to keys, handbags or held in the hand and give off a loud siren when pressed alerting others and drawing attention to any situation.
In addition to the alarms, the Youth Zone has been donated wands by Greater Manchester Police so that everyone entering the building will have continued reassurance that the Wigan Youth Zone is a safe space. These initiatives will run alongside the Youth Zone’s own “Safer in the Dark” campaign, which offers educational advice surrounding staying safe in the community.
The Safer in the Dark campaign, wanding and the distribution of personal safety alarms comes in response to growing concern nationwide around the safety of young people. The safety of young people in Wigan and Leigh is paramount to Wigan Youth Zone and therefore the hope is that these initiatives and education provide additional reassurance to young people and their families beyond the Youth Zone and into the wider community.
Sonny A, 12, Wigan Youth Zone Senior Member said:
“When you’re walking in the dark, it’s scary because you can’t see who is around you and it can make you feel unsafe”
Lexi J, 12, Wigan Youth Zone Senior Member said:
“A safety alarm would make me feel safe because of everything you hear in the news, and you can’t see very well in the dark.”
Wigan Youth Zone’s “Safer in the Dark” Campaign aims to educate young people in the community on simple safety measures to stay safe during the darker months. The campaign aims to ensure a safe and supportive environment for all members, with the project including sessions surrounding safety, posters, leaflets, online awareness and personal attack alarms.
Wigan Youth Zone offers other initiatives such as Outreach and Detached Youth Work, which focuses on accessibility to the Youth Zone and building relationships with young people out in the community.
Mike McCurdy Outreach and Detached Youth Work Coordinator said:
“Working on the streets and parks of Wigan Borough, I’d describe them as being quite safe. However, it’s a fact of life that we never know what or who could be around the next corner and so it’s always a good idea for anyone to try to think ahead and take extra precautions to safeguard themselves.”
Sergeant Steve Hanley of the Greater Manchester Police said:
“Since the establishment of Wigan Youth Zone, they have always done whatever they can to support the reduction of anti-social behaviour across the borough with many successes. We applaud this new campaign and the measures the Youth Zone have taken to make people feel safe both at the centre and across the borough, and we will be working in partnership to support this much-needed work. I am confident that, with our work with organisations like the Youth Zone, we can all make a big difference.”
Wigan Youth Zone has worked with over 28,000 young people since opening over eight years ago and is committed to their safety by offering them somewhere to go, something to do and some to talk to every day.
It is hoped that with the continuation of such initiatives like the ones above, Wigan Youth Zone will continue to give back to the wider Wigan and Leigh communities. To support the work of Wigan Youth Zone, please click here