Volunteers help Falkirk into 2014

Volunteers helped Falkirk revellers enjoy the festivities safely. Picture: Michael Gillen (C081795k)
Volunteers helped Falkirk revellers enjoy the festivities safely. Picture: Michael Gillen (C081795k)
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A hardy band of helpful volunteers took to the streets on Hogmanay to help Falkirk safely see in 2014.

The town’s partygoers were once again in the safe hands of the Safe Base personnel, who provided assistance and a safe haven to those revellers who found themselves a little worse for wear over the festive season.

Now in its fifth year, the Safe Base, also known as the Safe Zone, operated in Falkirk town centre at weekends throughout December and also saw in January 2014.

John Starks, who helped out at the Safe Base over Hogmanay, said the weather, for once, was kind to volunteers.

He said: “It was actually quite pleasant. Normally when you’re standing down at Storm nightclub at 3 a.m. its like a freezing wind tunnel, but it was quite nice this year.

“It was a relatively busy time in Falkirk and certainly the Safe Base volunteers helped quite a few people with the various issues they had.

“Once again the Safe Base was a well-utilised resource.”

The initiative was once again based in Park Street and included volunteers from Police Scotland, the Scottish Ambulance Service, British Red Cross, St Andrews First Aid, Falkirk BID, Signpost Recovery, Falkirk Council’s community safety team and community development service and Falkirk Street Pastors.

Volunteers provided first aid patrols, street pastoring and a safe, warm area for people stranded until transport could be arranged. In addition, Police Scotland was on hand to provide patrols as part of its festive policing.

Councillor Allyson Black, a Street Pastor, helped out at the Safe Base over Christmas.

She said: “There’s a great team at the Safe Base and they do an important job for the town, maintaining vulnerable people’s safety through practical help and advice.”

Councillor Jim Blackwood, Falkirk Council’s public protection spokesman, said the Safe Base also took pressure off hospital staff by reducing the number of admissions during one of their busiest times of the year.