Since November 2022, Metro Bank has been running a pilot of Safe Spaces across several of its stores and now has 48 Metro Bank stores – including Ealing as part of the scheme where its staff are trained to help. Metro Bank says this will give anyone experiencing, or at risk of domestic abuse, the opportunity to safely call a helpline, support service or loved one.
Safe Spaces is part of the UK Says No More campaign and part of global awareness week (5 – 12 March 2023) which calls for the end of domestic and sexual abuse impacting nearly two million people every year in the UK.
Ealing Metro Bank store manager, Taran Ruprah said: “As a community bank, we want to be able to support anyone locally who wishes to use our private Safe Space to help them plan the next stages of their new life.”
Judith Lowe, chair of Metro Bank’s Women on Work inclusion network added: “The topic of domestic abuse has been high on our agenda over the last two years as we have worked to increase awareness through events and initiatives. As a community bank, our store teams already have well-established connections with local domestic abuse charities. As our stores are open seven days a week, evenings and 362 days a year, we can offer extended access on the high street for those needing a safe space and we didn’t hesitate to join the UK Says No More campaign.”
Patrick Ryan, chief executive of Hestia which helps adults in crisis and suffering domestic abuse and modern slavery said: “For those experiencing domestic abuse, finding a safe space can be a lifeline. We have heard countless stories from survivors who were unable to even make a phone call without being monitored. Popping into a local high street bank may be the only time when they’re not watched.”
Mr Ryan added: “We’re pleased to be working with Metro Bank to widen our support network for those who need us now more than ever. We are proud to now be offering over 7,000 Safe Spaces across the UK and we hope that many more businesses will follow Metro Bank’s lead and support this scheme.”
For more information on Safe Space and where to go for help, click here.