Launched in the fall of 2017, the app is aimed at supporting people with learning disabilities find safe places in cities. A few players in the city of Nottingham helped launch the app, which is part of a larger network of cities and towns with safe places listed on the Safe Places website. When the app was launched, there were 69 safe places in Nottingham such as the central library and National Ice Centre. Businesses, shops, and public buildings can sign up as a short-term safe place for people who need it. Staff are trained on how to reassure individuals and the locations have visible stickers in addition to being listed on the website and app.
The app project was a joint effort by a charity – Mencap, the Nottinghamshire police force, and a business – Tornado Gloves. Sometimes it takes a wide-ranging mix of players to make a positive local impact that can eventually make a national impact.
While the number of safe places listed is high, at the moment, the number of Android downloads appears relatively on the lower side. Hopefully, more publicity can be generated for the app among the population that it’s aimed for. At the very least though, this project is raising awareness that safe places and more importantly safe people are needed to make everyone feel comfortable out and about. Whether the medium is the app, website or stickers, the message is a needed one.