Council buildings become safe havens for young people in danger
By poppy_smith | Sunday, February 17, 2013, 21:51
Islington Council has joined local shops and businesses to offer safe havens for young people in danger.
CitySafe Havens, set up by campaigning group London Citizens, are places which offer refuge to young people facing an immediate risk.
Now the Town Hall in Upper Street and the council offices in Newington Barrow Way, have become Islington's latest safe havens. Staff are given training to help them deal with emergencies.
The CitySafe Haven campaign in Islington is dedicated to the memory of Martin Dinnegan, who was tragically murdered in 2007.
Students from Islington's Mount Carmel school, together with Martin's mother Lorraine, have played a leading role in setting up Islington's CitySafe Havens.
Today the students presented a card and flowers to the council as a "thank-you" for joining the campaign.
Lesley Seary, Islington Council's chief executive, said: "Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our young people.
"We're very pleased to join CitySafe Havens and offer local young people in danger safe places where they can go to find help and refuge."
Work is already underway for other council buildings to become safe havens.
In total 13 places in Islington are now CitySafe Havens, including The Happening Bagel Bakery in Seven Sisters Road, and Rowan's Leisure bowling centre near Finsbury Park station.
Isaac Cohen, owner of Happening Bagel said: "I took part in the CitySafe campaign because we wanted to help and become actively part of a community we have been in for twenty years.
"And if as a Safe Haven we get to help someone in trouble, then all the better."
Businesses and organisations which agree to become safe havens are given training and advice on what to do in an emergency.
To find out more about Safe Havens in Islington please see www.islington.gov.uk/citysafehavens