Anyone who attended the Vigil for Sarah Everard at Pittville Pump Room earlier this year, will remember the deep anguish felt for her loss, for her family and for her community. She should have been safe making her way home one evening from being with friends. She wasn’t.
Speaking to people at the Vigil, I was struck by what they felt was a lack of understanding of the situation by those in a position to make our streets safer. The voice of women and girls was unheard they said; their experiences unknown to those who make decisions.
Cheltenham Council has looked at what can be done to change the situation, to counter the lack of input by girls and women into how to make our town safer for all.
We have launched a survey, open to all those who live, work, study, or visit our town, to ask about their experiences and how they feel about safety on our streets and in our open spaces.
We will be using the information gathered to bid for government funding to make the changes that are needed. Local organisations will be invited to join with us to develop a project, learning from a listening culture and one that acts on actual experiences of girls and women in Cheltenham.
The survey is available on the Council’s website and will be until 20th August. If you miss it and want to make a contribution, please drop me a line, saying what you think could be done better.
The funding has to be bid for by the 1st September. So, please, join with us, give us your ideas, views, suggestions and help keep girls and women safer on our streets.
No girl, no woman should feel afraid to walk our streets at night. No woman, no girl should feel they have to stay home to be safe.
Together we can make a difference. So please fill in the Cheltenham Borough Council survey and help our bid to secure government funding for change.