The Yorkshire Grey Safehaven Superhub team, outside McDonald's with Cllrs Anthony Okereke and Ann-Marie Cousins
The Yorkshire Grey Safehaven Superhub team, outside McDonald's with Cllrs Anthony Okereke and Ann-Marie Cousins

Published: Thursday, 30th March 2023

In our continued efforts to ensure everyone in Royal Greenwich feels safe, the Council has opened safe spaces across the borough for people to go when they need help.

Known as ‘Safehaven Superhubs’, the spaces offer refuge for anyone who needs help – either in an emergency, if they feel harassed or unsafe, or need medical help while waiting for an ambulance or the police to arrive.  

The new Safehaven Superhubs are located at Yorkshire Grey McDonald’s in Middle Park, Powis Street McDonald’s in Woolwich, and Eltham High Street McDonald’s, with more due to open across the borough in the future. 

Locations have been chosen based on crime data, and feedback from local communities about where they feel most safe, but any business is welcome to sign up to the scheme.  

McDonald’s was repeatedly brought up as a location where people – especially young people – felt safe. It’s also a venue easily accessed by all ages, genders and ethnicities, which makes it an ideal Safehaven Superhub. 

Police and Royal Greenwich council officers have worked together to train McDonald’s staff at every location to help those who have sought refuge.  

Staff are fully trained in how to use defibrillators and bleed kits in medical emergencies, and the training also covers how to respond to antisocial behaviour, safeguarding, serious youth violence, gender-based violence, and hate crime. 

Simona and Marjorie, who work at the Yorkshire Grey McDonald’s, have both been trained under the new scheme. They said: "Being trained on how to use a defibrillator and having it at this location is a real asset, especially in an emergency when every second counts.  

“The training provided by the Council was really high quality. We feel proud to be in this position and potentially save someone's life!” 

Councillor Ann-Marie Cousins, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Enforcement said: “Working together in partnership with local police, we have created Safehaven Superhubs so that anyone, no matter their age, has somewhere safe to go and seek help and support when they feel unsafe, have been a victim of hate crime, or are feeling vulnerable.

“I would like to thank McDonald’s for embracing this concept and working in partnership with the Council to deliver these first three hubs.”

Richard West, Business Manager for Powis Street McDonald’s said: “It’s great to be supporting the community by working alongside the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Hopefully we will not need to use the equipment – but let’s work together to help save lives at McDonald’s Woolwich.” 

Terry Eagle, Franchise Manager for Eltham High Street McDonald’s, said: “I’m honoured to be working with the Safehaven Superhub scheme to offer Eltham McDonald’s as a location where people who feel unsafe can seek advice. Keeping our community safe and preventing crime is an important issue and one I take pride in. I look forward to working with the police and local authorities to ensure Eltham and the neighbouring towns are kept safe.” 

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