Colmore BID introduces new Women’s Safety Forum
16 December 2022
In November 2022, Colmore BID held a Network & Drink event in aid of White Ribbon UK – the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls.
This was an incredibly special event as it not only raised money for White Ribbon UK, but it also highlighted the important issues around women’s personal safety.
Held at Purecraft Bar and Kitchen, this event was a unique chance for us to not only network with BID members and the community, but also for us to openly discuss our thoughts on women’s safety and what we can do to help in the future.
Safety is a huge priority for Colmore BID. We want everyone who passes through the District and in the wider city centre feel safe and secure, day or night.
Hearing from Nick Gazzard
At the event, we had the pleasure of welcoming Nick Gazzard, the Founder & CEO of the Hollie Gazzard Trust. Nick set up the trust in memory of his daughter Hollie, who was tragically abused and murdered by her ex-boyfriend.
Since 2014, Nick has dedicated his life to helping protect people from abuse and has been instrumental in developing concepts including Hollie Guard, a next-generation smartphone personal safety app, the only such app endorsed nationally by UK policing.
Not only was it extremely emotive hearing his story, but it also emphasised the importance of being vigilant and keeping yourself safe whether you’re working alone, travelling to an unknown area, or commuting around town.
Downloading the free Hollie Guard app is one way to protect yourself from violence and accidents, record evidence and alert emergency contacts of your whereabouts quickly and easily.
During his speech, Nick announced that the yearly access pricing plan will soon be available to purchase on Amazon, meaning you can buy it for loved ones, helping to keep others safe.
Introducing Colmore BID’s Women’s Safety Forum
Following Nick’s speech, our very own Paul Street, Special Projects Officer for Colmore BID’s Safe & Sound workstream, took to the stage to discuss safety in the District. He also introduced the new Women’s Safety Forum, made up of women from organisations across the District.
The Women’s Safety Forum was formed in April 2022 to give women in the District a safe space to come together and talk about any concerns they may have regarding safety – whether that’s walking around at night after locking up from work or travelling alone on public transport.
Members of the Forum include Poonam Gill, Knight Frank (chair), Kelsey Dwyer, Colmore BID (co-coordinator), and representatives from businesses in Birmingham, including Transport for West Midlands and West Midlands Police.
Since it was formed, the Forum has met to establish its objectives and mission statement, delivered themed events and organised workshops. The Forum is also a chance for members to discuss projects happening in the District and the wider city centre to keep people safe. This includes Project Empower and the ‘’Ask Angela’’ scheme.
The event concluded with a raffle prize, where lucky winners won prizes that included afternoon champagne tea for two at The Grand Hotel, a meal for two (with wine) courtesy of Orelle and a Vivienne Westwood purse. £230 was raised through the raffle prize, with all proceedings going to White Ribbon UK.
It was inspiring to see so many people come together to discuss women’s safety, which is something that impacts us all.
To learn more about safety in the Colmore Business District, click here.