[Newcastle, UK. October 11, 2023]—The UK’s largest AGC operator Admiral is to provide refuges for potentially vulnerable people while they’re out alone as part of the WalkSafe initiative.
The WalkSafe personal safety app is designed to help users plan their routes and stay safe while walking outside alone. Along with crime data and information supplied by community sources, WalkSafe features a ‘safe-haven’ facility that gives users the chance to seek help if they believe they’re being followed, harassed or threatened.
With more than 280 venues on high streets across the UK, Admiral is perfectly positioned to serve as a major provider of WalkSafe’s ‘safe havens’. The AGC operator will now welcome anyone who seeks safety while walking alone.
As well as offering the safety of more than 280 prominent, well-lit premises, Admiral is also training its staff to offer assistance to vulnerable WalkSafe users. In addition, every location will now advertise the WalkSafe initiative in their windows.
This increasingly popular personal safety app is the brainchild of Emma Kay, a young mother and daughter of a Met Police officer. She decided that something needed to be done after experiencing a series of unsettling events as she walked home at night.
From the age of just 13, Emma was subjected to the most disgraceful behaviour, including catcalling, flashing, aggressive following and even groping. It was during her time volunteering at a community centre and working in childcare that she realised the safety concerns of women and issues such as consent and gender bias required an innovative approach.
Emma’s lightbulb moment came after giving birth to her daughter. She decided that girls and women should no longer have to accept unsafe conditions on the UK’s streets as part and parcel of modern life. That’s why she founded WalkSafe — to integrate safety and security data into a single, user-friendly platform for potentially vulnerable people.
With several thousand users across the UK, WalkSafe is keeping vulnerable people — most commonly girls and women — safe while they walk home at night or make their way through crime hot spots. And that’s something that has given Emma an enormous amount of satisfaction. She said:
“WalkSafe is about giving users safety at their fingertips — whoever they are and where they might be. But the success of our personal safety app relies on participation from partners such as Admiral.
“While a large part of what we do involves helping vulnerable people to plan their walks, usually at night, we also try to offer places of refuge for users who believe they’re in danger. In that regard, Admiral is the perfect partner.
“Our users will now be able to drop into their nearest Admiral location for safety and protection. They will even get help from staff if they need to make alternative arrangements to get where they’re going.
“As a young woman who has walked home late at night many times, I know how frightening it can be when you’re being catcalled, followed or assaulted in the street. I created WalkSafe because I know the vast majority of people want to help. And that’s exactly what has happened.”
Admiral is now an integral part of WalkSafe’s network of safe havens. The company’s 280 locations and 3,000 employees will prove vital in the mission to keep vulnerable people safe on UK streets. Admiral Regional Operations Manager Kevin Farnsworth believes the national AGC operator is the perfect partner for WalkSafe. He said:
“We have a presence on just about every town and city high street in the UK, so we’re ideally suited to offering refuge to vulnerable people when they’re out alone. The fact that many of our sites are open 24 hours a day means we’re able to help people when streets are mostly deserted.
“Already, we have had five examples of people —mostly young women — seeking refuge within our venues. Not only did these people find safety on our premises, but they were also assisted by our incredible employees.
“Many of our staff members have to get home at unsociable hours of the day, so the WalkSafe app is very important to us. And the same goes for our customers, many of whom will walk home in the early hours of the morning. This partnership makes practical and logical sense for everyone concerned.
“We take our responsibilities as an integral part of the UK’s nighttime economy very seriously. That’s why we provide open, well-lit premises with around-the-clock CCTV coverage. It’s also why we’re incredibly proud to be extending our relationship with WalkSafe for at least another 24 months.”
The WalkSafe app is free to use and available for download from Apple’s Apple Store and Google Play. Already the UK’s most downloaded personal safety app, it continues to grow — expanding into new towns and cities such as Leeds and Bradford.
Admiral is the UK’s largest operator of Adult Gaming Centers (AGCs), with more than 280 venues up and down the country. Specialising in slots and gaming entertainment, the Admiral brand is synonymous with exciting slot machines, the latest technologies and exceptional customer service.
Founded in 2020, WalkSafe gives vulnerable people the information they need to stay as safe as possible while they’re walking alone on UK streets. App users can plan their routes using police and community-provided data. WalkSafe also offers hundreds of ‘safe havens’ for people seeking immediate safety while out alone — in conjunction with its growing list of partners.