As bleeding control packs save five lives, nightlife campaigner John Hughes reveals more plans to make city safer
1 year ago
Head of Liverpool Nightlife CIC John Hughes says new bleeding control packs have already saved five lives in the city.
Campaigner John Hughes says he won’t rest until Liverpool has regained its number one spot as the safest city for a night out in the UK.
“Surgeons have already told us that the packs have saved five people, so that’s great news that those people are alive because of the work we have done,” says John. “But now we need to build on that to make the city even safer.
“In a 2010 survey we came out as the safest city to come to for a night out and we have slipped down from that number one spot.
“It’s my aim to get us back up.”
John, who set up Liverpool Nightlife CIC in 2018, won an award in the Community First Awards launched by Merseyside Police for the tireless work he does for the city centre and its after dark businesses.
He was recognised as being the glue that holds the authorities including Merseyside Police and the city council together, as well as launching important projects like the stop bleeding packs – which can be vital after a knife attack or an accident – and training staff in 100 bars and 50 Hackney cab drivers how to use them.
“I have seen the city come back from the depths after the ‘80s, rising up with the opening of new bars and clubs,” says John, “and I want to see it rise right back up again, especially after the trials of Covid.
“I am striving to get everybody working together again for the good of the city, its businesses and its economy, and its reputation.”
Among the issues faced by the city is the problem of staff and visitors getting home.
John says: “There is a problem with people getting home either after a night out or after they have finished a long shift until the early hours of the morning. They have difficulty getting a cab or can come across unscrupulous drivers charging large amounts of money. Among the things we want to see introduced are late night buses to the Wirral and, especially, the north end of the city.”
* Liverpool Nightlife CIC is working with Knife Savers to put bleeding control packs into cabinets around the city centre.
“The idea is that someone will ring North West Ambulance Service who will give them a code for the cabinet nearest to them which will contain a pack and they will tell them how to use it, a bit like you have with defibrillators now.”
* John is also hoping to purchase two single decker buses to create Safe Havens in the city for use during the weekend.
Part of the bus, he says, will contain St John Ambulance volunteers who will treat and triage people who’ve been hurt, and part will have people who can help those who’ve lost their friends, have a problem, or who simply want someone to talk to.
“They’ll be able to offer people a cup of tea or a bottle of water, and they’ll even have phone chargers if people are down to their last 2%.
“And when we are not using them, if there are events in the city like festivals, they will be able to use them.”
* John is hoping to get funding to re-start Street Pastors and get them into the city every Saturday night: “I’ve been out with them and they do a fantastic job, giving out hot drinks… and flip flops to the girls walking around in bare feet!”
John says: “It’s having people in the city centre who are keeping it safe, and making people feel safe.
“We have come a long way since 2018 and we want to build on that, it’s about safety and it’s also about recognising how much night-time businesses bring in to the city economy.”
John has welcomed support from Bill Addy, CEO of Liverpool BID Company, who, he says, ‘can see the vision of what I’m trying to do’.
And he says Eurovision will be a major positive for the city’s nightlife, bringing money in and reasserting Liverpool as a great place, and a safe place, to visit to those outside.
“When people come to Liverpool they are given a warm greeting and they leave having had an experience they’ve loved. A good experience.
“We need to make sure people are safe and feel safe. We have had Purple Flag Status making us one of the top safe cities for the last 13 years, but we want that top spot back and I am more confident than I have ever been that we can get it.
“We have the support from businesses and the authorities, and we have the tools and the plans to make it happen.”