‘Safe Zones’ to provide secure stops for young people 

Staff and clients of Strabane Training Services launch the Safe Zone initiative.

A NEW town-based initiative has been introduced in an effort to keep young people safe during the dark evenings. 

Arranged by Strabane Training Services Ltd, the initiative will see a number of premises in and around Strabane become ‘Safe Zones’ for children who need a secure place to wait for a lift or make a phone call.

So far a dozen businesses have already pledged their support to the initiative, including Strabane Training Services on Abercorn Square, Coco Hair and Beauty and STS Hair and Beauty Academy on Main Street and Revolution Gym, Brightside Daycare and Strabane Training Services on the Ballycolman Road.

With members of staff at the each premises holding an Access NI Certificate, parents can be confident young people are safe should the need for a young person to stop arises. 

According to Debbie Deans, business development officer for Strabane Training Services, the initiative will prove useful to young people as evenings get shorter. 

“Having a safe place to stop off is very important as we come into the autumn months,” she said. “Parents are often held up and young people can find themselves waiting around for lifts in the dark. As many young people no longer carry coins or cash, pay phones aren’t widely used. Young people can make a phone call inside any of the premises if needed, and parents can rest assured their children are safe.”

Debbie, who instigated the initiative, said she put the idea out there after seeing it undertaken elsewhere. 

“It seemed like a good idea when I came across it on social media recently,” she continued. “Overall, the uptake from local businesses has been very impressive and it is clearly something that parents and businesses are keen to get behind. It is simple but very effective, and as is the case in any town, it is important to keep children safe from dangers that they could encounter as they wait for a lift.

“We don’t expect hundreds to be coming to the door, but rest assured, our doors are always open,” Debbie added. 


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