We’re pleased to announce that yesterday the University was presented with an award from the High Sheriff of Cheshire to recognise the work we’ve done to enhance student safety and wellbeing.  

Teams from across the University were presented with the award by the High Sheriff Jeanie France-Hayhurt to acknowledge their part in a range of initiatives to highlight and tackle all forms of harassment and enhance student safety.  

The award was presented to members of our Safer Streets Team and wider Unacceptable Behaviours Group (UBG). Set up in 2016, the Group includes students, University leaders, and staff from areas including Student Services. It aims to raise awareness of, prevent and support students affected by unacceptable behaviours, which include harassment and abuse. 

With funding received through the national Safer Streets initiative in autumn 2021, and following a survey of students, a number of new initiatives were put in place to build on existing support to help students feel and be as safe as possible, including: 

  • A powerful awareness-raising Reflect and Respect campaign focusing on the prevention of sexual violence by sharing the proactive message that violence against women and girls will not be tolerated, identifying harmful behaviours and encouraging cultural change. 
  • A pilot of a free personal safety app which enables students to set off an alert, set a meeting timer and a start and end point for journeys.  
  • New lighting and CCTV installed across Chester sites.  
  • Partnering with organisations in Chester, Warrington and Northwich (for students at Reaseheath College and University Centre Reaseheath), to provide students with Safe Spaces should they ever feel they are in danger.   
  • A new Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO) Service supporting students who have experienced sexual violence or harassment. More than 20 staff members are receiving accredited SVLO training, delivered by LimeCulture, the UK’s leading sexual violence specialist support and safeguarding training organisation.   
  • A new reporting tool for students to report an incident.  
  • Consent and healthy relationship workshops, with 10 staff members now trained to deliver these by LimeCulture.  
  • First Responder training to key staff on how to handle a disclosure.  
  • A Safer Taxi scheme, partnering with local taxi firms so students can get home if they feel unsafe.    
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