Ask for Angela Initiative Relaunched in East Cambs

Spotted in Ely yesterday (Monday) relaunched the initiative where a simple code word could help someone who feels insecure for many reasons while on a night out.

With the help of East Cambridgeshire District Council and the local Police, the “Ask For Angela” initiative is to be relaunched and reintroduced into local licenced establishments over the next week leading up to the Christmas season.

Back L to R: Stewart Broome, Licencing Officer ECDC, Cllr David Ambrose-Smith, Chair ECDC Community Services Committee, Mark Cooney, Editor of Spotted in Ely, Christopher Whelan, Manager RBK
Front L to R: Sgt Mark Rabel, Ely Police, Shona McKenzie, ECDC Neighbour Support Officer, Mayor Cllr Michael Rouse, Angela Parmenter, ECDC Housing Officer and Cllr Christine Ambrose-Smith

 

Maybe you are on a date and it doesn’t seem to be going as planned or just feeling a bit weird about someone hanging around. Well, you go to the bar or door staff and just Ask for Angela.

The campaign was kick-started back in 2016 in Lincolnshire and soon resonated around the world and was even endorsed by Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher over social media.

ECDC has recently received the White Ribbon Award for ensuring that people who feel abused are safe in our district and it is hoped the Ask for Angela campaign is a further step to increase the safety of not just women but also men in our area.

Mark Cooney, Editor of Spotted in Ely said, “I recently attended a safeguarding course delivered by a company from Cambridge who mentioned the campaign and having received distress calls from friends in my job as a part-time taxi driver, I could see how this could help. I plan to contact all licenced premises and have posters added to all available areas but furthermore ensure that all taxi drivers are aware of the campaign and the importance of getting someone to safety. Along with ECDC and Sgt Mark Rabel, we hope to offer training to those who can keep both women and men safe on a night out.”

At the launch of the campaign on Monday at Riverside Bar and Kitchen, Sgt Mark Rabel told us “It encourages people to discreetly ask for help by going to the bar and ‘Ask for Angela’ – a phrase aimed at alerting bar staff to the cry for help so they can help defuse the situation. A poster has been distributed to all licensed premise in East Cambs and is a visual aid which might provide a vital lifeline to someone who finds themselves in a difficult situation and can’t get out of it. ‘If you go to the bar and “Ask for Angela” the bar staff will know you need some help getting out of your situation and will call you a taxi or help you out discreetly – without too much fuss.’

“Very positive feedback has been received from the East Cambs Community Safety Partnership who have supported this initiative by organising the printing of the posters as well as using their relationships to have the local pubs place these posters in prominent places in their establishments.

“Keeping people safe is everybody’s business and this is a good example of the community working together. We are very grateful to Mark Cooney from Spotted in Ely for instigating this project.”

Chairperson of the Community Service Community, Cllr. David Ambrose Smith stated, “Ask for Angela is a simple strategy designed to keep both women & men safe. When what is expected to be an enjoyable evening out, perhaps a meeting set up online and the situation changes and becomes uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, “Ask for Angela” can provide a safe exit from the situation.”

What should you do if you feel uncomfortable on a night out or date?

  • Go to the Bar, find a member of staff or just approach someone you may recognise and “ASK FOR ANGELA”
  • This will highlight that you need help. You will be offered a place to wait away from the public area, out of sight. A taxi or a friend can be called, and you will be assisted to leave the venue out of the sight of the person(s) causing distress.
  • If you are in a licensed taxi, the driver will know not to leave you alone.
  • If necessary, the police can be involved.

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