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Volunteer students help keep people safe on nights out

Cool-headed student volunteers from the University of Gloucestershire are keeping people safe on a regular night time patrol.

Every Monday night during term time, between five and ten Student Community Patrollers head out onto the streets of Cheltenham to support fellow students and local people – helping them enjoy a safe night out.

Now in its fifth year, the Student Community Patrol is coordinated by the University of Gloucestershire’s Students’ Union and supported through the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Fund.

In total, there are 23 fully-trained student volunteers signed up to the scheme. The patrollers give minor first aid, call taxis, give directions and stay in constant contact with door staff and the police through the ‘Nightsafe’ radio network. They are supported by the police whilst out on patrol and their training includes a Level 2 Security Industry Authority Doorstaff qualification and first aid.

Phoebe Holder, a 20-year old Criminology student from Worcester, said: “Volunteering in this role means that I get a real taster for what it’s like to be in the police – you never know what to expect. I worked for four nights in a row during freshers’ and helped students either get home safely or arranged a taxi to get them home.”

Part-time masters student Eliza Gabb, from Cheltenham, said: “I’m a bit of a mum! As a parent myself I know that I’d want my own daughter to be safe when she is on a night out and I feel that by volunteering with the Student Community Patrol I am able to look out for and look after fellow students.”

Third year Criminology and Psychology student Sabine Meyer, aged 20, said: “We deal with so much more than I expected when I joined the scheme. Ultimately I want to become a detective, so this is the perfect introduction to this, having the opportunity to work alongside the local police and PCSO Steve Best. We help a range of people, not just students.”

Tom Newman, Chief Executive of the University of Gloucestershire’s Students’ Union, said: “The Students’ Union has an excellent working relationship with Gloucestershire Constabulary, and our Student Community Patrollers are a reassuring presence for students on Monday nights. They support anyone who is in difficulty, whether student or non-student.
Cheltenham is a safe town and this scheme is another way in which we can help students enjoy themselves, while staying safe.”

For more information about the Student Community Patrol scheme visit the Students’ Union website.