September 30 2014 Latest news:
Friday, March 21, 2014
A popular Ipswich nightspot has today launched a new scheme aimed at keeping young and vulnerable revellers safe during a night out.
Town centre nightclub Liquid & Envy, in New Cardinal Street, has been hailed for setting up Girls United, thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.
Emily Palmer, the club’s manager, said the initiative is designed to give female customers the tools they need to stay safe on a night out in Ipswich.
The venue has installed free mobile phone charging points in permanently manned cloakrooms and approved taxi firm numbers are clearly displayed at reception.
In addition, the Liquid & Envy team have been trained to look out for vulnerable young females, offer support and question anyone leaving the venue alone.
Two fully qualified female door staff will now be on hand every Friday and Saturday night.
Posters and flyers have also been spread across the nightclub, reminding female customers to stay safe.
The club is also urging customers to download a ‘Find My Friends’ app, designed to help people track down missing friends.
Ms Palmer, 30, who has been the club’s manager for five months after working her way up from behind the bar over five years, said: “Unfortunately, there are people out there ready to take advantage of young women who have left home for the first time.
“This policy is about educating our customers and employees so they are equipped to read the danger signs and are fully aware of the simple steps they can take to protect personal safety.”
Lynn Ambrose, manager at The Ferns, Suffolk’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) said: “This is an excellent initiative and we hope Girls United will be adopted by other late night venues in the county.
“Rape and serious sexual assault is a subject most avoid addressing so it is refreshing to see Liquid & Envy launching such an initiative that acknowledges we all have a part to play in keeping potential victims safe.
“While sexual violence can affect people from all backgrounds, it is young women aged 17-24 who, figures show, are at most risk in Suffolk. Equally young men aged 17-24 are the highest offender group.”
Ben Gummer, Ipswich MP, said: “I applaud Liquid & Envy for taking steps to help young women stay safe when enjoying a night out.
“I want Ipswich to have a thriving night life, but I also want to make a night life that is fun and safe for everyone to enjoy.”
Liquid & Envy is part of The Luminar Group, the UK’s largest nightclub operator. The company is now looking at rolling out the Girls United campaign to its 54 venues nationwide.