Saturday night revellers in Doncaster will soon be able to head to a safe haven in the town centre.
The aim of the project is to offer drinkers and party-goers support when they hurt themselves or to keep them safe when they’ve had a little bit too much to drink.
The move is to help take pressure off of the local accident and emergency departments and to keep people safe.
The project, called Safe Haven, will run on certain nights in the run up to Christmas and will offer both medical and practical support to revellers. It will launch on Saturday, December 10 and run for the following two Fridays (December 16 and December 23) between 8pm and 4am.
The project is being spearheaded by Doncaster’s Public Health Team, supported by a range of organisations including Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), Doncaster’s Street Pastors, Doncaster Pub Watch, the police, Doncaster Council and Doncaster’s Clinical Commissioning Group.
Local data shows that there were nearly 4,000 alcohol related accident and emergency attendances to Doncaster Royal Infirmary in 2015, an increase when compared to 2013 of 13 per cent.
The Safe Haven will be RDaSH’s health bus – which will be parked outside Doncaster’s Mansion House on High Street - and besides practical support and help there will be a nurse on board to help with minor injuries, bumps and bruises. Also on board will be health care assistants, a social worker and a mental health worker.
Andy Collins, who is managing the project, said: “It’s not just about reducing the amount of people who head to A&E due to excessive alcohol or alcohol related injury or illness. When people have had a drink they are more likely to be vulnerable and we can offer help and support to keep them safe.
“We will also be talking to revellers about alcohol and drug awareness and safe sex messages,” he added.
Dr Rupert Suckling, Director Public Health, said: “Safe Havens have proved successful in other parts of the country and will provide somewhere that revellers in town on a night out can receive help and support, both medical and practical, which will hopefully minimise the number of A&E attendances along with reducing the risk of people being left vulnerable to crime.”
After the initial Christmas Safe Havens, it is intended to run the project on Saturday nights in the town centre including Bank Holidays and from June to September.