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​Late-night safe space trial to be extended

Issues: 16 February 2015

The program pilot designed to reduce alcohol-related violence among young people late at night in Sydney's CBD has been so successful over the busy summer period it has been extended for another three months.

Safe Space, which began operating in early December, is a joint partnership between the Department of Justice, City of Sydney, the Salvation Army and the Thomas Kelly Foundation.

Safe Space offers first aid, water, phone access and transport information to young people who may be intoxicated or affected by drugs. In the program's first 11 weeks, 130 volunteers provided support to more than 1,700 people – including giving first aid to 200 people, charging 170 phones, and handing out 2,300 bottles of water and 250 pairs of thongs.

The NSW Government initially invested $30,000 to support the trial as part of its ongoing commitment to reduce alcohol related violence.

NSW Attorney General Brad Hazzard said the government was so pleased with the outcomes, it was investing an extra $37,500 to allow the Safe Space to operate until the end of May.

A team of specially trained Salvation Army volunteers, the Take Kare Ambassadors, is on hand at the Safe Space and throughout the CBD entertainment precinct to offer assistance and practical advice.

The Safe Space operates in Sydney Square next to Town Hall from 10pm to 4am on Friday and Saturday nights.