Women friendly Leeds blog

On Friday 29th September the Safer Leeds partnership launched Leeds specific features on the app, WalkSafe. WalkSafe is a free personal safety app to help people feel and be safe in our city with a range of helpful features.

There are nationwide features which allow safe tracking and location sharing with your trusted friends within the app. Leeds City Council and the Safer Leeds Partnership have partnered with Women Friendly Leeds to develop Leeds specific functions such as seeing our Ask For Angela venues, more anonymous reporting tools for hate crime and cat calling. The partners will continue to explore further development. We know WalkSafe are keen to work on rolling out many of these functions in other cities also.

The launch was the start of this journey and what a fantastic celebration it was to start it off! We want to pay a special thank you to The Biskery who contributed to its success and fun.

The Biskery are Women’s Lives Leeds charity of the year. Our friends at The Biskery made some WalkSafe Angela icon biscuits to give away as part of goody bags. This Angela icon is shown on WalkSafe for Leeds registered Ask For Angela Venues. The Biskery creates bespoke artisan biscuits for everyone wanting to get their message across in the sweetest way – businesses and consumers alike. Their focus is on quality, a personalised service, and sustainability in all areas. It is their mission to connect people by spreading kindness in biscuit form. All whilst empowering working mothers by normalising part-time employment, and family-friendly approaches to work. Do have a look at their website to find out more and order your next tasty treat https://www.thebiskery.com/ 

An image of goody bags from the event, including a purple tote bag, ask for angela flyers, and a biscuit from the biskery

Of course, we need to give a big shout out too to Bobbi Rae from Bearcubs for continually designing and reimaging our Angela as she takes on new adventures in the city with new initiatives.

The launch started at 02 Academy for the speeches from Councillor Coupar (Deputy Leader of Leeds City Council – Exec Member for Communities), Emma Kay (Founder of WalkSafe), Nik Peasgood (Chief Executive of Leeds Women’s Aid and representing Women and Girls Alliance Leeds) and Simon Hodgson (Head of Community Safety Services) as well as a live performance from Explosive at Leeds City College (https://www.instagram.com/explosive_uk/?hl=en-gb). Explosive have performed at major events around the UK such as Move It, Breakin Convention and AOC Championships since starting in 2016. Explosive runs as a weekly extra-curricular class at Quarry Hill Campus and is currently made up of around 50 students from across Level 1, 2 and 3 BTEC Dance, Musical Theatre and Acting pathways within the Performing Arts Department. These students performed an incredible Beyoncé medley of routines; huge thanks go to Samantha Rutter the choreographer and each and every dancer for bringing their energy to the event. As Beyoncé says “Who runs the world…. Girls!”

We then took to the streets and had a parade down to Greek Street lead by the brilliant Deadbeat Brass Band playing all of our favourite girl power anthems from Spice Girls to Britney. Explosive performed a flash mob to get the crowds strutting with confidence to start their Friday evening.

Bevan Healthcare brought down our Women’s Night Safe Space bus for people downloading the app to see how the live tracking of on street support appears on the app and the brilliant City Centre Liaison Officers and WalkSafe Team were there to help people with any questions whilst downloading WalkSafe.

We know many more people made this all possible, and will continue to work on the development and awareness raising work of WalkSafe in Leeds so pats on the back all round.

Lots of love and thanks to everyone who helped to make this happen!

Women Friendly Leeds x

You can download the free app here: https://walksafe.io/

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November 6, 2023

Rebecca Parker

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