20 May 2021 | View all news

Safe Haven reintroduced to support reopening of hospitality sector

Wolverhampton’s popular late-night Safe Haven scheme will return to the city centre this weekend, to help support the further reopening of the hospitality sector.

The Safe Haven, located outside Halifax bank in Queen Square, provides somewhere safe and warm for people of all ages to wait for a licensed taxi after their night out and receive assistance should they need it.

Safe Haven staff will be on hand to help those who feel unwell, have become separated from their friends or require a licensed vehicle to be called on their behalf to ensure safe transportation home. Bottled water is also available for visitors.

First aid assistance will be provided by St John Ambulance to ensure that those in need can be treated quickly without having to attend A&E.

Night guardians will also patrol the city and engage with local pubs, bars and venues to help assist with the reduction of night-time anti-social behaviour.

The initiative is being delivered in partnership with City of Wolverhampton Council, Wolverhampton BID (Business Improvement District) and West Midlands Police. It will operate on Friday, May 21 and Saturday 22, and Friday, May 28 and Saturday 29 (9.30pm - 2.30am). On May 21, the service will start a 30 minutes earlier at 9pm. 

Councillor Phil Page, Chair of the Council’s Licensing Committee, said: “We are delighted to see the return of the Safe Haven. The scheme will provide reassurance to both customers and licensed venues as we begin to welcome people back into the city.

“We know it’s both popular and valued by those who use it and provides an exemplar model of the city's partners working together.”

Cherry Shine, Wolverhampton BID Director, said: “We are excited to see the reopening of the indoor hospitality sector and know that working collectively will make a huge difference to those visiting the city centre to enjoy their evening and nights out.

"The Safe Haven and Night Guardians will be on hand to welcome people back and offer any assistance to our visitors and venues. We are keen that as many people as possible enjoy a night out in Wolverhampton and that we round off a fantastic evening by getting people home safely.”

Shaun Keasey, Chairman of Pubwatch, said: “We are pleased to see the Safe Haven and Night Guardians return to support the evening and late-night economy.

"The pilot of the service demonstrated that agencies and businesses working collaboratively, sharing information and intelligence, and providing a visible presence, creates a safe and welcoming environment for the many visitors to our pubs, bars and clubs.”

The Safe Haven aims to reduce pressure on the NHS and West Midlands Ambulance whilst freeing up police time, allowing them to focus on responding to key incidents.

An initial trial of the Night Guardian service in 2019 proved a huge success in supporting the night-time entertainment scene and partners were keen to see the service reintroduced to assist with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.