New crew to help those in need on a night out is county first for city

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Wakefield will become the first place in Yorkshire to introduce a scheme aimed at helping vulnerable people on a night out.

A training day will take place this week to get the Drinkaware Crew initiative up and running, meaning staff at nightclubs and bars will be qualified to support the wellbeing of their customers.

The drive to make the city safer has been put in place as members of Wakefield Business Improvement District (BID) take the first steps towards achieving Purple Flag status.

They have begun filling in an application form for the flag standard, to get Wakefield formally recognised as a safe, diverse, entertaining and enjoyable place to go for a night out.

Bill Muirhead, who runs Unity Hall, The Establishment, After Dark and Kooky’s is leading the push.

He said: “We are on our way.

“The Drinkaware Crew should be implementing the scheme in the first week in May. We are the first place in the whole of Yorkshire to have the crew scheme.

“It is about looking after vulnerable adults and young people out on a night and it will enable us to have a much safer environment for people to come and enjoy themselves.”

Mr Muirhead said the scheme was well supported by BID members and authorities including Wakefield Council and West Yorkshire Police.

Crew members will mingle with customers to promote a positive social atmosphere and help those who may be vulnerable due to drinking alcohol. Their role can include reuniting people separated from their friends and helping people into taxis.

Purple Flag status is awarded by the Association of Town and City Management.

It is an indicator of where to go for a good night out and acknowledges that an area’s night-time economy offers clean and safe environments, great bars and clubs, a variety of art and cultural attractions and excellent transport links.

The Express is backing BID.