The Hastings Safe Space, commissioned by NHS Hastings and Rother CCG and provided by the National Social Marketing Centre (NSMC) opened its doors for the first time at His Place Church in Robertson Street, Hastings on Saturday 23rd December 2017 and operated again on New Year’s Eve.
The Safe Space is open on Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and provides a free service for vulnerable young people in the Hastings night-time economy where they can access support and advice, including signposting to other specialist services in the town. The service also offers first aid including supervision and support for those affected by alcohol and this is provided by the NSMC’s clinical partner, Crusader Medical. The Safe Space is aimed specifically at the 17-25 year old age group – vulnerable people from other age groups will be signposted to relevant services.
The Safe Space has been developed in partnership with Hastings Borough Council, East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police, Southeast Coast Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, the Street Pastors and local businesses. It has also been designed collaboratively with local young people including Hastings Youth Council who worked with the NSMC to create the design and branding of the Safe Space. Young people also had an influence on service delivery, for example proposing that volunteers should be recruited from the target audience and recommending the use of wrist bands to raise awareness of the Safe Space.
Over the first two evenings of operation more than 30 young people visited the Safe Space and 16 were given medical assistance for a variety of reasons including intoxication and minor injury. Over 60% of those given medical support would have required assistance from an ambulance in the absence of the Safe Space. Service users also sought help for other reasons including phone charging, being cold and organising accommodation and transport. All service users were supported to get home safely.
Volunteers and first aiders also worked on the streets providing assistance and support to young people. The Safe Space is enthusiastically supported by members of the night-time economy including bar staff, taxi marshals and the Street Pastors, all of whom refer young people to the service.
The Safe Space will be open every Saturday night throughout the year from Saturday 13th January 2108 and will also operate for specific local events such as Jack in the Green.
For further information please contact: Emma Cuppini, Health Inequalities Project Manager: email@example.com