New drink safe campaign launched in Glasgow

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Specially trained staff will be employed in Glasgow nightspots to help vulnerable drinkers who may have had one too many.

In a Scottish first, Best Bar None Glasgow has teamed up with Drinkaware to launch the new safety net in SWG3, The Garage and The Cathouse.

The new crew members as they are known will work in pairs at large venues which cater for more than 500 customers. They will mingle with customers inside venues to promote a positive social atmosphere and assist anyone who may be vulnerable as a result of excessive alcohol consumption. This could include helping people who have lost their friends, supporting anyone receiving unwanted attention or simply providing a shoulder to cry on if someone is emotional.

The Crew will work with other staff such as managers, security and bar teams to ensure customers have a happy, fun and safe evening. They’ll introduce themselves to people queuing to enter the venues and let them know they’re there to help, routinely check areas such as toilets and stairwells to ensure customers are OK and offer practical support such as tissues, water or first aid to anyone who has over-indulged.

The new pilot will be unveiled at Glasgow’s SWG3 club in Eastvale Place ahead of the busy festive period and it is hoped that other large premises will follow the first three.

Jonathan Dawson, Operations Manager at SWG3, said: “We are delighted to be part of Best Bar None Glasgow and the club Crew initiative. It is vital for me to put the welfare of our customers at the centre of our operation and I feel that the crew adds to, and augments what we have already have in place. It gives me an extra layer of service and safety. We want our customers to come and have a good time and most importantly, to get home safely.”

Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Once again Glasgow is leading the way in Scotland with new strategies to make socialising in the city safer and more enjoyable.

“Glasgow’s Best Bar None scheme was the first in Scotland and it has now been replicated across the country. The new club crews are another Scottish first for our thriving night-time economy, which is so successful due to the high quality of venues.

“Glasgow is always packed with people enjoying themselves in its array of pubs and clubs. This festive season will be exceptionally busy and the new Drinkaware Crews will complement existing safety measures over that period and going forward.”

Drinkaware is an independent alcohol education charity which aims to reduce alcohol-related harm by helping people make better choices.

Elaine Hindal, Chief Executive of Drinkaware, said: “We are delighted to bring the first Drinkaware Crew to Scotland, and I’m particularly proud of our partnership with Best Bar None Glasgow and the police in helping make this happen.

“From our successful pilot programmes we know this scheme can work well to help reduce the number of young adults experiencing vulnerability through alcohol on a night out and we expect to see the same positive results in Glasgow venues.

“The trained Drinkaware Crew can bring a new dynamic to venues, which means people in vulnerable situations have someone who is there to spend as much time as is needed, to make sure they are looked after and that they can either enjoy the rest of their night or get home safely.”

Glasgow’s Street Pastors already make socialising in Glasgow safer and more enjoyable by offering help to anyone who is lost or vulnerable in the city centre at night. Wardens at the Nitezones also ensure the taxi rank queues are orderly and people get taxis to take them home swiftly and safely after a great night out.