Colmore BID’s Women’s Safety Network announced following the successful launch of its Women’s Safety Forum
09 May 2023
Since 2009, our Safe and Sound Working Group has been committed to ensuring a safe and secure environment for businesses and visitors to the area. However, we recognised that there needed to be a forum for people across the District to come together and voice their views on safety, especially women’s safety.
Therefore, in April 2022, we launched the Women’s Safety Forum. Made up of businesses and organisations from across the District, the Forum provides a safe space for women to collaborate and voice their safety concerns – whether about walking around at night after locking up from work or travelling alone on public transport.
We are using the Women’s Safety Forum to shape the creation of business safety events and workshops in the District. The Forum also allows members to promote and get involved in other projects in the District and across the city that encourage a safe, secure, and inclusive environment. These include Project Empower and the “Ask Angela” scheme.
Through the Women’s Safety Forum, we recently became the first to partner with Hollie Gazzard Trust to launch a new Supporter Organisation Scheme to educate staff on domestic abuse issues and help safeguard employees.
We continue to listen to feedback from BID members on how to enhance the District, so following the successful launch and reception of the Women’s Safety Forum, we have created a new Colmore Women’s Safety Network – an online space to host safety-related updates, news, consultations, and ‘early-bird’ offers to future themed events.
This online network is open to everyone, regardless of gender, in the District and relevant partners and supporters.
Members of the Women’s Safety Forum and the new online Women’s Safety Network include Poonam Gill, Knight Frank (chair), Kelsey Dwyer (Colmore BID, co-coordinator), Paul Street (Colmore BID, co-coordinator), and representatives from Birmingham, including Transport for West Midlands, West Midlands Police, and those working in the night-time economy.
Kate Bailey, Colmore BID Board Director and lead of the Safe and Sound Working Group, said:
“No one should feel scared or vulnerable to go out alone. This is why it was essential for us to create the Women’s Safety Forum and Women’s Safety Network, as we wanted to provide a space to empower women to discuss safety.
“We also recognised the importance of bringing women from different organisations together from across the city. Only through collaboration can we address safety concerns and find ways to enhance the District’s environment.
“We are extremely pleased that the Forum has been warmly welcomed, and it is encouraging that our new online network is already being well received. We are currently welcoming new members to our Women’s Safety Network, so please get in touch if you want to join.”
Poonam Gill, chair of the Women’s Safety Forum and Women’s Safety Network, said:
“It is fantastic to see that the Women’s Safety Forum has been well received by businesses and venues across the District and Birmingham. The Forum has already been instrumental in delivering themed events such as ‘Supporting survivors of sexual violence, abuse, and harassment in your workplace’, and sharing safety updates.
“We recognised how important it was to launch a new group that anyone could join, regardless of gender. We encourage all those who wish to share thoughts regarding safety and want to know more about initiatives in Birmingham to join the online network. Only by working together and sharing collective knowledge can we make the city a safer space for everyone.”
On 28 September 2023, we’ll go to ballot for our fourth term, and we’ve got big safety ambitions for 2024 to 2029, which are outlined in our BID4 Consultation Document:
- Update the security patrol team rotas to work later into the evening, supporting our growing night-time economy.
- Continue our popular safety classes.
- Launch a new resilience alert system to immediately share critical information about emergencies, public disorder, and other safety matters with our businesses.
- Support a new contactless giving scheme to benefit the charities and life-changing organisations we work with.