Scheme launched to make vulnerable people feel safe in Chichester

The Our City scheme was launched at Chichester Cathedral yesterday. 'Photo: West Sussex County Council
The Our City scheme was launched at Chichester Cathedral yesterday. 'Photo: West Sussex County Council

Vulnerable people can now 'feel safe in Chichester city centre' after a new scheme was launched yesterday (Wednesday).

The ‘Our City’ scheme was launched at Chichester Cathedral by The Wrenford Centre, in partnership with Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council (WSCC)

Those taking part in the ‘Our City’ scheme will be given a card to write the contact details of two people, for example a relative, friend or care, the county council explained.

A spokesman added: "If they need help when out and about, they can take the card into a participating shop where staff will be trained to offer basic help and can call one of the numbers on the card if the person requires more assistance.

"Shops and venues taking part in the scheme will display a window sticker to make it obvious that they are involved."

'Brilliant scheme'

The scheme is based on a similar initiative in Horsham and will be rolled out to more shops and organisations on a weekly basis, the county council confirmed.

Debbie Kennard, county council cabinet member for safer, stronger communities, said: “This is a brilliant scheme which I know will have a really positive impact on Chichester’s residents.

“I would really encourage other shops and businesses in the city to start taking part.”

Leo May, community connector at The Wrenford Centre, part of WSCC’s learning disability service, said it will be a 'real benefit for many people we support'.

He added: "We know that Chichester is an inclusive place and that many people are willing to assist. However, this scheme makes it much easier for those we support to identify where to find help should they feel the need.

"It can increase confidence for more vulnerable people when they are visiting the city centre, helping them to maintain their independence.”

Pam Bushby, divisional manager of communities at the district council, said it is 'very proud to fund such an important and inclusive project'.

"We hope that lots of local businesses will get involved and give their support to the scheme," he added.

A spokesperson for Chichester Cathedral said it is 'delighted to be one of the first venues taking part in the scheme'.

It added: "It is an excellent way of helping our more vulnerable residents feel safe and we hope it will give them the confidence to be as independent as possible.”

What are the participating venues?

The county council revealed the participating venues include; Chichester Cathedral, GAME, Serious Sandwich and The Oxmarket. Chichester BID will also support the scheme.

The ‘Our City’ cards will be available from:

- The Wrenford Centre, Terminus Road – Monday to Friday

- Chichester Library

- The Hub Club at the Boys Club, Little London, Chichester - Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays

"Cards can also be ordered from Leo May at 01243 788544 or ourcity@chichester.gov.uk," the spokesman said.

"If you are a resident and would like to order a card or a business wanting to be involved, email ourcity@chichester.gov.uk, or call 03302 225 841."

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