Newcastle Freshers Week: Women’s Street Watch reach out to first-year students in city

The community group are helping first-year students ensure their enjoy a safe Freshers Week in Newcastle

Vital Newcastle community group Women’s Street Watch has issued a message of support to freshers students arriving on Tyneside this week.

The group formed last year after the murders of Sabrina Nessa and Sarah Everard. Women’s Street Watch frequents the streets of Newcastle overnight looking out for people who need help in a bid to fight violence against women.

Volunteers could be spotted in their high visibility pink jackets on Sunday night as Newcastle University Freshers Week got underway. The group were also out on Tuesday and will be again on Thursday and Friday.

Women’s Street Watch can be found with their pink van ‘Wilma’ at St Nicholas Square. The group will also be at Northumbria’s Volunteering fair between 12 and 5 pm on Wednesday.

A Women’s Street Watch spokesperson said: “We’d just like to make students (both new and returning!) aware that WSW are parked at St Nicholas Square on Friday and Saturday nights alongside Northumbria Police Safe Haven and St Johns Ambulance.

“By parking alongside the police and St. John’s ambulance, we are making a permanent base for support for those that need it. Women’s Street Watch is there to provide help, support, phone chargers, water (and warm drinks for colder months!) and we can help you to get a taxi safely home.

“We are also accepting volunteers at the moment and would love to have help and input from new students.”

Shortly after launching last year, a survey into Women’s Street Watch work found an overwhelming appreciation for their work. Out of a survey of 3,220 women, a total of 3,124 (97%) said they felt safer knowing that Women’s Street Watch existed. The survey also found that over half of the respondents, 58%, had been assaulted in a venue in Newcastle.

The group has received widespread support from local people and businesses since its foundation and now works alongside Northumbria Police to do their vital work.

The Women’s Street Watch team (Image: Facebook @WSWNCL)

With Fresher’s Week underway, a total of 39 organisations across Newcastle are also now Shout-Up! certified - a group that works with venues and promoters to provide comprehensive training and support, ensuring that staff are able to identify and address sexual harassment.

Shout-Up! began in 2017 and certified venues must have all staff complete Bystander Intervention Training, write and share sexual harassment policies protecting staff and patrons and commit to undertake six-monthly reviews on policies, procedures and training in order to retain certification, amongst other requirements.

Shout-Up! Certified venues 2022/23 in alphabetical order

  • Alvinos Bar
  • Bar Loco
  • Blonde Barrel
  • The Cluny
  • The Cumberland Arms
  • Cobalt Studios
  • Cosy Joes
  • The Dog & Parrot
  • Domain
  • Empress Bar
  • Ernest Cafe Bar
  • Free Trade Inn
  • Green House Disco Gardens
  • Habita
  • Holy Holy Hobo
  • The Lubber Fiend
  • Market Shaker
  • Newcastle University Students’ Union
  • O2 City Hall
  • The Old Coal Yard
  • Powerhouse
  • Pumphreys
  • The Punch Bowl
  • Queens
  • Reds Bar
  • Rusty’s
  • Soho Jesmond
  • Soho Rooms Newcastle
  • Spot White
  • Tokyo
  • The Town Mouse
  • The Trent House
  • The Tyne Bar
  • World HQ
  • Zarabanda Bing Bing
  • Zerox
  • Plus promoters: Locally Sourced, Music Sphere, Full Force and Generator.