Colmore BID’s First Walk With Women Event

21 December 2023

On Tuesday 12 December, Colmore BID and the Colmore Women’s Safety Forum proudly hosted their very first Walk with Women event to highlight the issues around women’s safety in public spaces. The walk incorporated a number of stop-off locations, including several of the District’s hospitality venues participating in the Licensing SAVI and ‘Ask for Angela’ campaigns, as well as making people aware of Safer Parking Scheme accredited public car parks, and an update from the West Midlands Safer Travel Partnership on their personal safety projects and campaigns.

The walkers met outside The Square Peg pub on Bull Street at 5.30 pm. Paul Street, Special Projects Coordinator at Colmore BID, welcomed the group and briefed walkers on the Licensing SAVI(Licensing Security and Vulnerability Initiative) scheme, acknowledging that The Square Peg was Colmore Business District’s first five-star National Police Safety Award accredited venue. The group then walked to the Bull Street/ Colmore Square stop off point where Poonam Gill (Chair of theColmore Women’s Safety Forum) spoke about the Forum’s 20-month journey from nothing to a thriving regional leading Women’s Safety Forum, and Marcia Lewinson (CEO of WAITS domestic abuse charity based in the Wesleyan Building) explained the services that WAITS (Women Acting In Today’s Society) offer and how the charity supports the Forum.

The next stop off point was Snow Hill Square where Paul Street talked to the group about the two ‘ Park Mark’ police endorsed safer car parks in the District, B4 Parking on Weaman Street and Livery Street car park. Paul also pointed out the West Midlands Police headquarters and explained that the new 24-hour police public service desk is now built into the side of the building along Snow Hill Queensway. Paula Shortland from the West Midlands Safer Travel Partnership explained the role of the Partnership and spoke about the ‘See Something, Say Something’ campaign to report antisocial behaviour on public transport networks, and ‘Project Empower’, which focuses on reporting unwanted sexual behaviours on public transport networks.

The group then stopped off at Fazenda on Colmore Row (another of the District’s Licensing SAVI accredited venues), where Fazenda’s Relationships and Events Manager Patrycja Sliwa pledged support to Colmore BID’s women’s safety work and explained the restaurant’s origins and history.

Following this, the group walked outside 103 Colmore Row where Nicole Panayiotou, Colmore BID’s Business Liaison Executive, explained about the national Ask for Angela scheme for people who feel vulnerable on a night out, and James Crooks, one of Colmore BID’s Security Officers, spoke about the security team’s duties including business visits, the duty phone service, and the provision of funded personal safety awareness workshops for BID Members. Nick Gazzard and Richard Gray from the Hollie Gazzard Trust then spoke about the work of the Trust and the partnership they have developed with Colmore BID. They gave further information on the ‘Hollie Guard’ app and Colmore BID becoming the first Business Improvement District in the UK to highlight safer hospitality venues via the app, with pins indicating safer spaces on the Hollie Guard interactive mapping system.

The next stop off point was Albert’s Schloss, where General Manager Adin Memetovic and Bar Manager Olivia Joyce spoke about their recent success in attaining the five-star National Police Safety Award accreditation for the Licensing SAVI scheme.

The group then concluded the walk by walking to the Colmore BID offices for food, drinks, and networking. Throughout the walking route, all six of the District’s Licensing SAVI five-star venues (The Square Peg, Primitivo, Fazenda Birmingham, The Old Joint Stock, Purecraft Bar & Kitchen, and Albert’s Schloss) were pointed out to the group.

Please keep an eye out on Colmore BID’s news page and social media channels for information about future ‘Walk with Women’ events.