Safe Space, a refuge for young people in Hastings, shortlisted for award

Safe Space logoThe Hastings Safe Space project, commissioned by the Healthy Hastings and Rother programme, has been shortlisted for a Health Service Journal (HSJ) Award in the Community or Primary Care Services Redesign category for London and the South.

What is Safe Space?

The project, which is provided on Saturday nights from 10pm-4am from a centrally-located café, aims to help young vulnerable people and support a safer night-time economy in Hastings. Its role is to act as a refuge for vulnerable young people, provide first aid to those in need and to offer help and support to any young person requiring it. The service also signposts to other health and social services within Hastings.

Safe Space is run by trained volunteers and offers a first aid service operated by qualified first aiders.

Safe Space has been provided every Saturday night since Christmas 2017 and has delivered consistently excellent results. Young people who feel vulnerable, either through intoxication or any other issue, now have a place to rest and recuperate with trained volunteers on hand to help and support them. Those who’ve suffered a minor injury now have a service that delivers immediate help, without the need to travel to A&E or call an ambulance.

17 volunteers have been recruited and trained to support the project and between April and June 2018, 90 young people used the Safe Space of which 21 (23%) were referred to other services. 21 ambulance call outs were averted, which amounts to over £10,000 of savings to the NHS.

Safe Space is the result of close partnership working between Hastings and Rother CCG, the National Social Marketing Centre, South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, Sussex Police, Hastings Street Pastors, East Sussex County Council, Hastings Borough Council and Hastings Centre management team. This group led the development of the service from concept through to implementation.

The award ceremony will take place on 21st November in London.

You can find out more about Hastings Safe Space on their Facebook page.