Running from a visible bus in the city centre, Women Friendly Leeds is giving women in Leeds a safe space to go on night’s out, whatever the reason.
Having launched back in March 2022, the night bus operates from 10pm-3am on Saturday nights or other key dates throughout the year.
The idea is that the scheme offers non-judgemental support, refuge and advice inside a stationary bus in Leeds city centre.
The initiative offers mobile phone charging points, support calling a taxi, as well as ensuring a fresh supply of water, refreshments and warm drinks are readily available.
The incredible scheme continues to be a place where women can come to if they feel concerned, unwell or vulnerable during a night out; acting as a safe place to report incidents to the police and wait for further assistance; or simply somewhere warm where women can wait for friends, so they are not alone.
During the launch, Emily Turner, Women’s Lives Leeds Project Manager, who led the organisation of the Women’s Night Safe Space pilot said: “The Leeds Women’s Safety survey in May 2021 surveyed over 1,300 women of all ages, from all parts of the city.
”50% of the women we surveyed told us they often or always felt unsafe in the city centre at night. This pilot addresses the important issue of women feeling safe, as well as being safe, giving them a non-judgemental safe space to support their needs, be it make a report to the police, or simply a space to wait for friends if they become separated and worried.
“The main priorities that emerged from the survey were the need to tackle the attitudes and behaviour which underpin violence against women and girls; to make city environments safer; to increase reporting and improve responses.
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The bus continues to operate outside Leeds Corn Exchange from Saturday 21 January 2023 and you can find out where the bus will be based by checking their Instagram page each week.
More information on Women Friendly Leeds and the Night Safe Space can be found here.
Feature Image- Unsplash / The Hoot Leeds