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Community award success for Street Wise scheme

University of Sussex housing team Naomi Barnard, Becky Nash and Dean Spears, Fred Dinenage, Street Marshall Adam Callow, Matt Robinson of Beacon Group, Street Marshall supervisor Paul Robinson, Street Marshall Ryan Fobert, Rebecca Conroy of Brighton MET

A team of street marshals have been recognised with a local community award for their positive impact on neighbourhoods after dark.

The University of Sussex’s Street Wise scheme was named Public Services of the Year on Sunday at the Community Stars Awards organised by local newspaper The Argus.

The scheme sees highly visible members of the team walking in pairs in residential areas of the city on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, offering support to any passer-by between the hours of 10pm and 4am who may need assistance or advice on getting home safely.

The scheme’s pool of ten marshals, all of whom have community safety accreditation awarded by Sussex Police, have basic first aid training and conflict mediation skills, are now a common-place sight in the Lewes Road, Elm Grove and Upper Lewes Road areas of the city, interacting with students and other passers-by heading out or back in from sampling the city’s busy nightlife.

The University of Sussex’s housing team worked with Sussex Police, Brighton and Hove City Council, the University of Brighton and BIMM to get the idea off the ground, with Beacon Security Services operating the scheme on behalf of the project partners. It was successfully trialled in 2017 for 12 weeks before resuming after the summer break for the current academic year. 

The project has been recognised for its focus on the safety of potentially vulnerable individuals, discouraging antisocial behaviour and encouraging good community relationships.

The Community Stars Award have been heralding the best that Sussex has to offer for the past 16 years. This year’s event was held at the Brighton Dome and was hosted by veteran ITV presenter Fred Dinenage.

Dean Spears, head of University Housing Services, said: “The award is fantastic recognition for all the hard work that has gone into getting this scheme up and running and operating week in, week out during term time.

"This scheme was designed with the community in mind, to ensure that everyone could get on as harmoniously as possible after dark, and so this award really is for everyone involved in its running and for everyone who has engaged with the scheme in such a positive manner since its launch.

"The Project Manager, Becky Nash, has delivered our ideas into practice into such a high quality way, that other universities are looking at offering similar schemes to help their students and local communities”.

The Argus editor Arron Hendy said: “The public services category is always one of the most fiercely contested and it was hard to pick a winner, but this team form the University of Sussex really impressed the judges.

"On their own initiative they have developed and launched a scheme which is making a real impact to the lives of young people in the city. The Street Wise team is making Brighton and Hove a better, safer place, and we were delighted to honour them with this award.”

Read more about the scheme.

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By: Neil Vowles
Last updated: Wednesday, 24 January 2018

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