Image Credit: YUSU
A fellow York society, NightSafe, has been awarded a £2 860 grant by North Yorkshire Police (NYP.) The money, which will come out of the Yorkshire Police Community Fund, will be used to improve the quality of NightSafe’s service, and guarantee the society’s near future irrespective of money provided by YUSU grants. The service is already a vital source of support for York students, and its continued existence is a positive step in securing the safety of students over the next year.
YUSU NightSafe is a volunteering project that provides front-line medical help and aid to vulnerable students out in the city of york during the night. During the daytime hours, they disseminate information and tips such as river flooding advice, as well as help for new freshers on how to party safely while at University. NightSafe also, despite being a University of York society, offer assistance for York St.John’s students, both on nights out, and in the daytime.
This support doesn’t generally come cheap; the organisation must pay for its distinctive orange jackets, training for its volunteers, water bottles, blankets, flip flops and sick bags, and CCTV and radio equipment. In order to access more fund-ing, NightSafe was obligated to produce a bid considered by the committee who manage the Police Fund, which awarded over £100000 last year. The money will “fundNightSafe’s work with university students, purchasing vital equipment and helping us to provide professional training sessions for volunteers.
”These training sessions require the input of multiple organisations, from the police to first-aiders. Without this crucial training, and without the extra funding from north Yorkshire Police, the members would not be as prepared to help our students and deal with the problems they face each night they are on the streets.
NightSafe told Nouse that the "whole team’s really excited to receive the money”, and were keen to point out the importance of external grants in ensuring the continuation of the service.
“Without their help, financial uncertainty would have seriously threatened NightSafe’s sustainability. It’s really important that our volunteers - who have given over 2 000 hours of their time in the last year - know that people in the community really appreciate what they do.
”Being on good terms with the police force has already proved valuable to NightSafe’s operations in the city, as they later explained: “NightSafe are lucky to have a close relationship with North Yorkshire Police. At an organisational level, the Police feature in NightSafe training, teaching a session on conflict management. Perhaps most importantly, our volunteers have individual connections with the police, getting to know Officers who work in the city centre on nights out. Our work often overlaps, with NYP’s amazing team taking over when our volunteers get out of their depth.
”NightSafe also revealed that they are attempting to build a closer relationship with YUSU. “In the coming months, it would be fantastic to agree a permanent funding settlement. This would allow us to increase recruitment, ... and guarantee that NightSafe will be around for years to come.
”In response to NightSafe’s success, YUSU Activities Officer OllieMartin commented: “NightSafe is a phenomenally impressive and innovative student-led peer to peer volunteer project; YUSU has been pleased to support their grant application to diversify their funding and we welcome this collaboration with NYP. I know the new team has done an amazing job recruiting volunteers and are starting to put exciting plans in place for the new academic year; I’m very excited to continue to work with them in the year ahead!”