BUSINESSES in Rhyl are being asked to provide a safe space for anyone who finds themselves feeling vulnerable, confused, or unwell when out and about.

Rhyl BID is behind the Safe Space Campaign which has been launched in response to recent events; the tragedy surrounding Sarah Everard is the catalyst for the scheme.

The campaign is being run in partnership with North Wales Police and the Rhyl Radio Links Committee.

Nadeem Ahmad, chair of Rhyl BID, said: “No woman, man or child should feel unsafe on our streets. Unfortunately though, there are times when someone may feel vulnerable or find themselves in a situation where they need help quickly.

“Rhyl’s Safe Space Scheme was conceived in light of the tragic disappearance and death of Sarah Everard. It is a commitment from Rhyl’s businesses that ‘We are here to help and keep you safe’.

“At anytime, anyone feels they need assistance, they need only pop into a participating business and help will be on hand.

“One of Rhyl BID’s stated aims is to make Rhyl a safe and welcoming place. We work closely with the police and we we have the Rhyl Bid Town Rangers and this scheme goes further to make people in Rhyl safer.”

The idea is modelled on similar schemes, such as the Ask Angela programme.

Businesses participating in the scheme will display a ‘Safe Space’ poster in their window.

People feeling uneasy, for example, those that may sense they are being followed, have become lost, confused, unwell or have misplaced their wallet or phone or dropped their keys, can enter the store and tell staff they need a ‘safe space’.

Staff will provide the space and offer assistance as appropriate, based on guidance given as part of the scheme.

Assistance may include contacting the Town Ranger or PCSO for help, using 101 or 999 if it is a police matter or an emergency or using a business phone to ring a friend, carer or taxi for the person.

Abigail Pilling, manager of Rhyl BID, said: "Rhyl BID is looking forward to seeing Rhyl's businesses welcoming residents and visitors back into our town.

"Public safety is paramount, as is being able to reassure people that Rhyl businesses, as a collective, are playing a part in providing safer shopping experiences. This includes piloting initiatives like Safe Space - Rhyl, as well as all the hard work that has been done by our businesses to become Covid-compliant.

"Although in its infancy, support from Rhyl's businesses has been overwhelmingly positive, with proprietors from Luxe Hair and Beauty, Personalise a Memory, The Bodfor, Discount World, Pennywise Card and Gift, ShuShoo Shoe Emporium, Jean Emporium, Chrome, Sacrament Tattoo Collective, Silver's Cafe, the White Rose Centre, and the newly opened Craft Shop on Russell Road, already signed up with others coming on board as the scheme progress.

"This is yet again a reminder that the businesses in our town have heart, and are a part of the community they serve, and are here to help."

Sergeant Mark Jones, of North Wales Police, said: "The Rhyl Neighbourhood Policing Team is happy to support the introduction by Rhyl BID of a 'Safe Space' initiative to support people when they feel vulnerable or need assistance.

"This is part of a larger effort across a number of Partnerships to ensure that visiting Rhyl remains safe and enjoyable, whilst the town centre embarks on a phase of investment and re-development".

To find out more or if you are a business that wishing to sign up to the scheme, search Rhyl Bid on Facebook.