An innovative safety campaign which allows people who feel vulnerable in pubs or bars to discreetly signal for help will soon be introduced in Bury.
The Ask Angela campaign will also support Bury’s Purple Flag Initiative – the quality award for town centres and cities – by helping to make the town centre an even safer and more welcoming environment.
Ask Angela is an example of the close partnership work that has helped Bury town centre to win successive Purple Flag Awards in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Bury continues to be the only town in Greater Manchester to fly the Purple Flag in recognition of its thriving night-time economy.
The scheme will allow customers who feel threatened, uncomfortable or unsafe while on a date to get help by approaching the bar and ‘ask for Angela’ – a play on the word (guardian) angel. They could then be taken aside or to a safe location so they can speak in confidence about what help they may need. Staff could then call them a taxi discreetly, contact their friends or family or ask the individual causing the distress to leave the venue.
The Ask for Angela scheme is being set up by Bury Council and its town centre partners, and has the support of members of Bury Pubwatch.
Venues who are interested in joining the scheme and would like more information should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councillor Tamoor Tariq, cabinet member for communities, said: “This is a simple yet effective scheme which empowers members of the public to seek help if they are feeling vulnerable by allowing them to raise their concerns with venue staff.
“With the rise of dating apps, a person may find themselves in the company of someone who is not what they seemed, and they want to get away safely and with minimum fuss. This initiative will help this and hopefully prevent a situation escalating into something more serious.
“The scheme will raise awareness among bar staff and encourage them to look out for potentially vulnerable customers. It’s a valuable measure in ensuring that visitors to Bury can keep and feel safe.”