UK: A safe haven has been set up to protect Gay Village clubbers from hate crime

When the party stops in Canal Street, volunteers at the Village Haven are on hand to deal with anyone in need.

From tonight (Friday), clubbers in distress will have a quiet, safe space to sober up, get home safely, and get help if they've fallen victim to crime.

The new facility - called the Village Haven - is based at the The Beacon, the Bloom Street premises of Christian homeless charity Barnabus and will be open from 11pm to 5am every Friday and Saturday night.

The project - run by Manchester’s LGBT Foundation - has been launched because of concern about the disturbing situations clubbers find themselves in - and overstretched emergency services’ ability to cope. 

Sexual assault, attempted suicides, drug and drink-induced collapses, people who’ve fallen into the canal and lost tourists are all situations that Village Angels - the volunteers who patrol the area - have encountered.

Jessica White, 25, project co-ordinator for Community Safety, said the Village attracts many in vulnerable positions.

“We’ve had cases of people who are suicidal because they’ve recently been diagnosed HIV positive, or maybe people who are coming out and not coping well.

“In winter especially, we get cases of people who’ve drunk too much, collapse in the street, someone notices they’re alone and notices they’re in a prime place to rob or assault them,” added Jessica.

In August, 85 violent and sexual offences were recorded in the Gay Village with many occurring at night. Meanwhile only around 10% of LGBT hate crimes are reported to the police. Read more via Manchester Evening News