Luminar club praised for female safety initiative

Girls United from left Lynn Ambrose, Emily Palmer, Ben Gummer MP and Sgt Jo TowellAn Ipswich nightclub operated by The Luminar Group has been praised by police and a local MP for a new female safety campaign.

Liquid & Envy in New Cardinal Street launched Girls United, which is designed to give female customers the tools and information they need to stay safe on a night out.

The venue has installed free mobile phone charging points in permanently manned cloakrooms, and approved taxi firm numbers are clearly displayed at reception.

In addition, staff have been trained to look out for vulnerable young females, offer support and question anyone leaving the venue alone. In addition, two fully qualified female door staff are now on hand every Friday and Saturday night.

The initiative is supported by posters and flyers within the nightclub, reminding female customers to stay safe.

It is the brainchild of the club’s general manager, Emily Palmer who was prompted to develop the initiative by her belief that young women in particular are not as street wise as they were 10 years ago.

Emily, 30, who has only been in the role for five months having worked her way up from bartender, said: “Unfortunately, there are people out there ready to take advantage of young women who have left home for the first time.

“This policy is about educating our customers and employees so they are equipped to read the danger signs and are fully aware of the simple steps they can take to protect personal safety.”

The scheme, which they believe is the first of its kind in the UK, has been congratulated by the police and Ben Gummer, MP for Ipswich. He said: “I applaud Liquid & Envy for taking steps to help young women stay safe when enjoying a night out. I want Ipswich to have a thriving nightlife, but I also want to make a nightlife that is fun and safe for everyone to enjoy.”

Lynn Ambrose, manager at The Ferns, which is Suffolk’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), said: “This is an excellent initiative and we hope Girls United will be adopted by other late-night venues in the county.

“Rape and serious sexual assault is a subject most avoid addressing so it is refreshing to see Liquid & Envy launching such an initiative that acknowledges we all have a part to play in keeping potential victims safe.

“While sexual violence can affect people from all backgrounds, it is young women aged 17 to 24 who, figures show, are at most risk in Suffolk. Equally young men aged 17 to 24 are the highest offender group.”

Liquid & Envy is part of The Luminar Group, the UK’s largest nightclub operator, with 54 venues nationwide.

Picture (left to right): Lynn Ambrose, Emily Palmer, Ben Gummer and Sgt Jo Towell of Suffolk Police

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