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Nightsafe team to help Christmas revellers

Revellers in Preston City Centre will once again be safer this Christmas and New Year, thanks to the nightsafe team.

Since December 2013, the nightsafe project has seen a team of British Red Cross volunteers in the city centre on key weekends throughout the year assisting to keep people with minor injuries, often as a result of excess drinking safe.

The team will be in Preston city centre on Friday 22 December and Saturday 23 December, as well as on New Year’s Eve.

The team is based at the Discovery drug and alcohol services premises in Preston, with an ambulance stationed nearby to assist with any emergency situations.

Liaising with paramedics, police, street pastors and local establishments, teams of British Red Cross volunteers also patrol key hotspots supporting people to stay safe and well.

Support offered ranges from supplying people with immediate first aid, assisting people getting home safely if needed, and administering potential life-saving treatment at the scene.

Through this early assistance, individuals are able to receive attention and treatment quicker, reducing potential escalations. Pressures are also eased on ambulance crews and police services, and with fewer people requiring trips to A&E the local hospitals are free to help those who need their services most.

The scheme is a collaboration between Chorley and South Ribble Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Greater Preston CCG, North West Ambulance Service (NWAS), Discover drug and alcohol services, Lancashire Constabulary, and the British Red Cross.

Denis Gizzi, Chief Officer of Chorley and South Ribble CCG and Greater Preston CCG and deputy chair of the central Lancashire A&E delivery board, said: “It’s great to see projects like nightsafe continue to develop, and the effects on the whole health economy are clear to see.

“Winter is a busy time for the NHS, so it’s important that people use services appropriately and are seen in the right place for their need. The nightsafe scheme plays an important role in ensuring that people are safe and well, and don’t end up in hospital unnecessarily.”

Helen Coppenhall British Red Cross Service Delivery Coordinator for Event First Aid in the North said:

“The festive period is a time of celebration, but over the party season some people may not know when they’ve had too much to drink.

“Our staff and volunteers will be on hand as part of this scheme, alongside our local CCG partners, to provide practical and emotional support to revellers in the city centre during particularly busy periods over Christmas and New Year. We hope this will ensure fewer people attend their local A&E department with alcohol-related injury or illness, relieving pressure on vital NHS services at a time of high demand.

"The Red Cross works alongside partners across the UK to help people in crisis.”

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