Southend BID has launched its annual ‘Keeping Together’ scheme in collaboration with Essex Police and Southend Council’s Community Safe Team to help reassure locals and tourists alike throughout the town this summer. The initiative encourages guardians to collect a wristband from participating venues, allowing children and vulnerable adults to carry essential contact information with them at all times. In doing so, Southend BID are helping to keep visitors safe as restrictions ease and public venues once again become tourist hotspots over coming months.
When parents and guardians collect wristbands from participating venues, the name of the child or vulnerable adult in their care can be written onto the band, alongside the carer’s contact details. If the individual then becomes separated from their party for any reason, they can easily seek help and be swiftly reunited with their parent, guardian or carer.
Launched in July 2013, the ‘Keeping Together’ initiative has distributed over 100,000
wristbands to children and vulnerable adults. Now, the bands are available from approximately 30 local businesses who are equally committed to protecting Southend’s visitors. These participating venues include: Adventure Island, Adventure Inside, Baskin Robbins, Beaches Bistro, , Southend Central Train Station, Clarke’s Fish and Chips, Clinton Cards, Focal Point Gallery, Forum Library, Happidrome Arcade, both McDonalds on the High Street, Las Vegas Grill, The Hope Hotel, Mr Simms Sweet Shop, Odeon Cinema, Pebbles One, Royals Shopping Centre, Sea Life Adventure, Southend Victoria Train Station, Southend Pier, The Works, Three Shells Café, Toys N Tuck, Trespass, Victoria Shopping Centre, WHSmith and Wimpy Seafront.
Southend’s ‘Keeping Together’ initiative has been designed to prevent panic, keep vulnerable people safe and efficiently address stressful situations like this, demonstrating the town’s commitment to being a family-friendly, approachable destination.
Discussing the importance of this ‘Keeping Together’ scheme, Sergeant James Mint from the Southend Town Centre Police Team says: ‘Essex Police strongly support the ‘Keeping Together’ wristband scheme, as it’s such a simple yet effective way of ensuring that any lost children are quickly reunited with their parents or carers.’
Jon Gurel, Community Safety Manager at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, also says: ‘The Keeping Together wristband scheme is a really important part of our summer operations when a large number of residents and visitors attend our beaches and seafront areas. It is part of the Community Safety Partnership’s joint approach of reassurance to families to help everyone enjoy their time there.’
Finally, Suzanne Gloyne, Southend BID Manager, has highlighted why she feels this initiative is so pertinent and how Southend BID are striving to amplify its success this summer:
‘We’ve witnessed the benefits of this scheme unfold for the past 8 years. Every summer the ‘Keeping Together’ initiative quickly and calmly reconnects guardians with lost children and vulnerable adults, making every visit to our beautiful town a safe and enjoyable one. Now, after a challenging year for the entire country, we’re set to enjoy a busier few months as restrictions ease and excitement steers tourists towards the seafront; it’s never been more important for locals and tourists alike to be aware, present and vigilant, a message ‘Keeping Together’ certainly amplifies.
I have every confidence in the power of the ‘Keeping Together’ initiative and I am incredibly proud that Southend BID is once again helping to extend its reach, keeping even more families and groups connected throughout Southend-on-Sea.’.
Thanks to Southend-on-Sea’s ‘Keeping Together’ scheme, every person visiting the town this summer can do so safely and with reassurance that local businesses, partners and Southend BID, are collaboratively working to protect children and vulnerable adults.