New Safe Spaces trial launches in Windsor for children and young people

Councillor Amy Tisi, Lead Member for Children's Services, Education and Windsor, Angela Huisman, Library Services and Resident Contact (Face to Face) Lead, Inspector Sukhveer Sokhi and two Police Cadets pictured outside Windsor Library.

A new scheme has launched to give young people dedicated places to go if they feel unsafe whilst out and about in Windsor. The Safe Spaces initiative, created by the Royal Borough, the council’s children’s services partner Achieving for Children and Thames Valley Police, is being trialled in Windsor and, if successful, will be expanded to other areas of the borough.

Safe Spaces are registered businesses, charities and community hubs whose staff have received training on how to respond to young people who need help or support. This could be in a situation where a young person feels intimidated by one of their peers or needs a place to go when they feel unsettled.

If a young person enters a Safe Space and asks for help, staff will offer them somewhere to sit. They can also phone someone to help assist them to get home, or call the police, if necessary. 

All these spaces are displaying the Safe Spaces logo in their front window. They have also been given information on how to signpost to the Royal Borough’s Library Service or the council’s Family Hubs, should there be any further support required. 

In addition to the trial launching in Windsor, all libraries in the Royal Borough are designated safe spaces, for people of all ages.

The Safe Spaces currently registered are:
•    All libraries in the Royal Borough, including Windsor Library and Dedworth Library
•    Windsor Family Hub
•    Windsor Leisure Centre
•    Imperial Park Café, Imperial Road
•    Harvester – Windsor Lad, Maidenhead Road
•    Thames Valley Hospice Shop, Dedworth Road
•    Costa Coffee, Dedworth Road
•    Tesco Superstore, Dedworth Road

The full list of registered locations and interactive map can be found on the webpage

Councillor Simon Werner, Leader of the Council and Cabinet member for Public Protection, said: “We’re proud to be trialling the Safe Spaces initiative which will help to give young people in Windsor reassurance, when they are out and about, that they have a network of support available to them. We’re excited about this initiative and the buy-in from local businesses, charities and schools we’ve had already, to help support our young people in the community.”

Councillor Amy Tisi, Lead Member for Children's Services, Education and Windsor, said: “The Safe Spaces initiative has been created in partnership with Achieving for Children and Thames Valley Police, as well as by working with local young people and our Youth Council, who we’d like to thank for their support. 

“We’d like to thank the partners which have agreed to become Safe Spaces and we would like to encourage more businesses and community spaces in Windsor to get in touch and sign up.”

Inspector Sukhveer Sokhi, from Windsor and Maidenhead Local Policing Area, said: "We're thrilled to be part of the Safe Spaces initiative, offering young people throughout the town trusted locations, where they can seek assistance, guidance or help. 

“A special shout-out goes to our dedicated Police Cadets, whose efforts have been instrumental in rallying local businesses to join the cause as Safe Spaces. Thanks to their commitment, young people across Windsor can find support, no matter the circumstance or their situation. 

“As we continue this invaluable trial, I eagerly anticipate welcoming more businesses aboard as we remain committed to protecting our communities."

Publicity materials promoting the scheme have been distributed around Windsor and shared with local schools. The Windsor Family Hub will also be delivering information to parents on how to support their children to be safe in the community as part of the initiative and will be sharing more information in the weeks to come.