New “safe haven” opens up on Canal Street

A new weekend “safe haven” has been launched in Manchester’s gay village to provide a refuge for people who need help in the early hours.

Based at the The Beacon on Bloom Street, “Village Haven” offers respite for clubbers in distress and help if they’ve fallen victim to crime. The centre will be open from 11pm to 5am every Friday and Saturday night.

The haven is staffed by volunteers and security professionals. For those people in need of it, staff at the haven will refer them to more long-term support services, such as drug, alcohol or counselling services. The service will be provided by the LGBT Foundation, working in partnership with Serenity Security, an award-winning Manchester-based firm.

Paul Martin, Chief Executive, LGBT Foundation: “For most LGBT people, and their friends and allies, the Village is a safe and supportive environment. Unfortunately, as in any night time economy area there are rare occasions in which things may go wrong. In these cases the Village Haven pilot will allow us to provide support to people who have found themselves in a vulnerable position. LGBT Foundation’s team of volunteers will be able to assist people to get home safely, and direct people to more long term support. The Village Haven will help people feel safer on nights out in the Village, and to know where to go if they need support. We are grateful to be able to work with Serenity Security and the Police and Crime Commissioner to help to build a safer, more supportive village environment.”

The haven will complement the work being already being done by the Village Angels – a group of volunteers who provide aid and support to people partying in and around the gay village.