Tiny bastions of safety will pop up across Sydney's foreshore on New Years Eve as the city's information booths transform into safe spaces for the drunk, lost and injured.
The Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation's (TKYF) "Take Kare" Ambassadors will commandeer six information booths to help vulnerable revellers get home in one piece during one of the world's biggest NYE celebrations.
"Everyone deserves to have a great night on New Year's Eve and to come home safely at the end of it," said TKYF founder Ralph Kelly.
The booths will be manned by volunteers who will provide basic first aid, free water, phone and internet access, directions and ease access to emergency services.
The initiative is an extension of the TKYF program, which operates two Safe Spaces every Friday and Saturday night, one at Town Hall and the other in Kings Cross.
Program co-ordinator Nate Brown will be leading a team of 60 volunteers on the night.
"After operating at our usual spot [at Town Hall] on New Year's Eve last year we realised there was a need for it," Mr Brown said.
"Those information booths are empty after 11.30pm and that's when people needed a lot of help getting home. Whether it's tourists getting lost or people who have overindulged [on alcohol]," he said.
"We'll be out there making sure everyone having a good time watching the fireworks or partying will have access to help when they need it," Mr Brown said.
Partly funded by the City of Sydney, the Safe Space and Take Kare Ambassador program helped close to 15,000 young people during the year after its launch in December 2014.
"I'm really pleased this terrific public safety program, which has helped so many young people avoid the risk of late-night alcohol-fuelled violence, will operate on New Year's Eve," said Lord Mayor, Clover Moore.
December 27, 2015, Kate Aubusson
City of Sydney - PRESS RELEASE
Sydneysiders and visitors celebrating New Year’s Eve will be safer this year thanks to an extension of the successful Safe Space and Take Kare Ambassador program.
Just before midnight on New Year’s Eve, the City of Sydney’s six information booths in the city centre will transform into Safe Spaces where trained Salvation Army Street Team volunteers will administer basic first aid, provide free water, phone and internet access, and help vulnerable people get home safely.
This will be the first time the initiative, which has been running year-round from Sydney Town Hall and Kings Cross, will operate at locations across central Sydney on New Year’s Eve.
“I’m really pleased this terrific public safety program, which has helped so many young people avoid the risk of late-night alcohol-fuelled violence, will operate on New Year’s Eve,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“Sydney New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest annual celebrations in the world, attracting one million spectators along the Sydney Harbour foreshore and we want all of them to have a safe and enjoyable night.
“The Safe Space and Take Kare Ambassador program helped almost 15,000 young people in its first year of operation and the City is proud to be a supporter of this vital initiative.
“I’m delighted it will be in place to keep people safe at Australia’s largest public celebration.”
Take Kare Ambassadors from the Salvation Army’s Salvo Street teams will also be out on the town, helping Sydney revellers enjoy the biggest night of the year safely.
“Everyone deserves to have a great night on New Year’s Eve and to come home safely at the end of it,” said Ralph Kelly of the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation.
“I’m proud of the work the Take Kare Ambassadors have done throughout the year and delighted they will be out on New Year’s Eve in even greater numbers to help keep our young people safe from alcohol-related violence.”
Nate Brown, who will be leading the Salvo’s Street Team on the night said they were proud to be helping more people than ever before on New Year’s Eve.
“We did a lot of good work last year so I’m really happy we’ll be back to help more people than ever have a better New Year’s Eve experience,” Mr Brown said.
“We help anyone who needs it – whether it’s finding their friends, helping them get back to their hotel when they’re lost, or just providing some water and a safe place to sit if they’ve had a bit too much to drink.”
People coming into the city on New Year’s Eve also have a range of tools to help them plan a safe and enjoyable night. These include the Sydney NYE Telstra app and the City’s official 2015 Sydney New Year’s Eve website featuring an interactive vantage point map, accessibility and live transport and road closure information.
The Safe Space and Take Kare Ambassador program was set up by the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation in partnership with the Salvation Army and the City of Sydney. The program provides on-street assistance and a sanctuary for intoxicated young people who are at risk of crime.
It is operated by Salvos Street Teams in partnership with the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation, City of Sydney, NSW Government, NSW Police, St Vincent’s Hospital, local community groups, business owners and other service providers.
The program is supported by the City, NSW Government, Macquarie Group Foundation, Crown Resorts Foundation and the Packer Family Foundation.
For more information about volunteering as a Take Kare Ambassador, visit salvos.org.au/streetteams
For more information about the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation, visit thomaskellyyouthfoundation.org.au
For more information on Sydney New Year’s Eve, visit sydneynewyearseve.com
For Sydney New Year’s Eve media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Liz Stephens 02 9265 9106 or email email@example.com
For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Paul Mackay on 02 9265 9612 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2015 Sydney New Year’s Eve is proudly supported by ABC, Telstra, Production Resource Group, The Electric Canvas, Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney, Coca-Cola Amatil, Crown Lager, De Bortoli Wines, El Jimador, Interface, McWilliam’s Wines, The Menzies Sydney, The P.A. People, 2DayFM, APN Outdoor, and NSW Government agencies and landholders including the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, the Sydney Opera House Trust, and the Royal Australian Mint.