19 May 2017
We’ve all been there. Meeting someone for a first date and not sure how it will work out… But what happens if things take a turn for the worse and you start feeling uncomfortable or even unsafe?
Ask For Angela is a new safety campaign starting in pubs, clubs and bars in Sheffield, which supports safe dating and tackles sexual harassment.
It encourages people to discreetly ask for help from bar staff if they are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable, who will make sure they get home safely.
From today, Friday 19 May, posters will be up across Sheffield encouraging people to Ask for Angela at the bar if they need help. Twenty one venues are already taking part, and more are encouraged to sign up.
Serena Cavasin, Women’s Officer at the University of Sheffield’s Student Union, said: “This is a brilliant scheme to help ensure people are safe in bars and venues across the city, including our union. If people get in uncomfortable or unsafe situations they will be protected and helped.
“We know people who have had dates they wanted to get out of and Ask For Angela will really help with this. Internet dating, and dating through apps, is common amongst students, so the scheme will be a real help and support.”
Ask For Angela is for men and women of all sexual orientations. It is being promoted by Sheffield City Council, Best Bar None, Domestic Abuse Coordination Team, Pub Watch, and South Yorkshire Police.
Tracey Ford, Best Bar None Coordinator at Sheffield City Council, said: “This is about keeping people safe and offering a way for them to ask for help if they’re on a night out and getting unwanted attention or are out on a date and something doesn’t feel right. This is particularly important with more people meeting online.
“Sheffield is a great place for a night out. Safety is important to us and all the pubs, clubs and bars taking part, and their response has been brilliant.”
Sheffield city centre has the Purple Flag status which recognises town and city centres which provide a vibrant nightlife, while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents. It was the first city in Yorkshire to gain this status back in 2013.
Ask For Angela first launched in Lincolnshire last year, developed by Lincolnshire County Council. It gained global attention after a social media post about it went viral and was shared by more than 55,000 people.
Visit www.sheffieldbestbarnone.com for more information about the campaign.
Contact Tracey Ford by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you work in a pub, bar or night club and want to take part.
Update 30 June 2017 – More premises have signed up to the campaign and another training session is taking place on Friday 14 July at Sheffield’s Town Hall. Contact Tracey Ford by emailing email@example.com to sign up or find out more.