An Update to Our Services
Since Strut Safe’s first steps last March, we have grown in ways none of us imagined. What began as a small number of people dotted around Edinburgh has since found support across the UK and beyond!
When we started, we wanted to use community action to help with something as simple as walking home. We knew so many people were being failed by the institutions claiming to protect them, and sought a more simple solution that prioritised vulnerable people. As residents of Edinburgh, we concentrated our efforts on the areas where we knew people felt unsafe. People who lived across the city volunteered their nights, and we are so proud of what we have been able to offer.
As we grew, more and more people from around the UK began calling us, not looking for a volunteer to walk with them, but rather someone to stay on the phone with until they got in the door. Since then, we have recruited more volunteers who are ready to chat — to be a reassuring voice on the other end of the phone as long as they’re needed.
Over the past year, so many people have gotten in touch, offering not only support but also looking to start their own branches of Strut Safe in different regions. We have been blown away by the amount of people who are keen to help out, and have been carefully considering how we can help more people and offer more support to those in need.
After much discussion and input from the people who call our line, we no longer believe that organising walking volunteers is the most effective way to provide support to people, or to tackle the systemic issues of sexual harassment and violence. Consequently, we have decided that, for the time being, we will no longer be operating a walking branch of volunteers in Edinburgh. Further, we are not going to set up any other walking branches or services in other cities. Instead, we are concentrating on expanding our phone service to include more nights of the week and longer hours. We are more than happy to provide information and resources to local groups, so please reach out!
This is not to say that we will not reopen our Edinburgh walking branch, or open others in other parts of the UK. For now, however, we want to focus on the phone line. We are currently training more volunteers, and we are keen to provide people with a broader variety of resources and support.
We stand in solidarity with all marginalised people, and are committed to being a service for anyone who needs us.
Our number is 0333 335 0026 and remains free to call.