A campaign's been launched to help keep young people in the UK stay safe over the festive season
ID&C, the leading provider of wristbands in the UK and Lowland Rescue, the governing body of Lowland search and rescue teams across the UK, have launched a joint campaign to help improve safety and wellbeing during the festive season.
According to Lowland Rescue figures, over 25% of the total number of young people (ages 19-22) who go missing in a year, will go missing in the lead up to Christmas and New Year. Approximately 70% of those who go missing will be young males.
Not only that, people who drink alcohol on a night out are at higher risk of coming to harm should they go missing. There are also cases where people wander off from pubs and clubs with devastating consequences.
In light of this, ID&C and Lowland Rescue have created a selection of wristbands which will be given out by teams up and down the UK, including Buckinghamshire, Surrey and Cambridgeshire.
The wristbands allow people to write their details on them so they can be identified should they become separated from their friends while in a vulnerable state on a night out.
Matt Wilkey, Company Director and co-owner, at ID&C said: “We here at ID&C understand the importance of safety over the festive season.
“After speaking to Lowland Rescue and hearing about the number of people who go missing or end up lost during this time due to being under the influence of alcohol and other substances, we came up with a very simple solution that could potentially help people out when they are vulnerable and in trouble.
“We certainly hope that these wristbands could be helpful to those that have become lost or separated from their friends, often in a delirious state and unsure where they are.
“The idea is that if they are found wearing one of our wristbands which include a contact number, they can hopefully be reunited with their group.”
Neil Balderson from Lowland Rescue said: “Lowland Rescue has been helping find those who go missing, in a reactive way, by training volunteers how to search and locate those missing.
“Our teams have seen first hand the devastating impact on friends and families when someone goes missing. The heartache and turmoil are huge.
“Our teams have been called on many occasions to missing persons reported over Christmas and New Year while people are celebrating.
“So we wanted to find a way to try and reduce those missing, and get people to look out for each other more.
“We have been doing this by looking at new proactive ways to prevent, or help find, missing people faster.
“We have worked with many police forces on the “Herbert Protocol” helping create a profile of people at risk of going missing, to find them quicker.
“These new bands are the next preventative campaign method.
“We believe these wristbands will help those who may get into trouble or get lost on a night out in two ways.
“Firstly as a constantly worn “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) tag, should the worst happen, with contact details of people who can help, be that safety teams in the towns or cities or the person's friends.
“Getting assistance to someone quickly, particularly when they could be intoxicated and at higher risk will be invaluable.
“Secondly as a worn reminder to look after yourself and your friends.
“At Lowland Rescue we work as teams and know the value of teamwork and friendship.
“We constantly keep an eye on each other, and are reminded of this by our logo, worn with pride, we believe these bands will remind the partygoers to look out for one another.
“Even if it helps just one person, and best case saves a life, it will have been worth it.
23-year-old Dhriti Shashikanth, is a former student from Kent. She said: “I think these wristbands will be helpful in so many ways during the festive season.
“Most of us love to indulge in the winter festivities but there are often cases where young women and men consume too much alcohol which can result in them being in potentially dangerous situations.
“In London, while at a packed New Year’s Eve event, I noticed that there were several people being pulled aside by security staff as they were clearly drunk and incapable of communicating their names or who they were with.
“This resulted in most of them being thrown out of the event, which could be even more dangerous for their safety considering their vulnerable state.
“If they had worn wristbands with their friends’ phone numbers at the minimum, it would have been incredibly easy to reunite them with their group, rather than leaving them to fend for themselves, which is particularly concerning if there is water nearby.
“I would definitely encourage people my age who are going on big nights out to wear these wristbands or if they are travelling with a group to an unfamiliar place.”
Lowland Rescue and ID&C’s Top Tips to Staying Safe over the Festive Season
- Stay hydrated - drink plenty of water!
- Get your bearings - familiarise yourself with your local area, especially if you are new there.
- Always stay within a group when possible. By remaining close to the people you trust and know well, you’ll likely stay safer. Have a buddy system and don’t wander off on your own.
- Always stay in control when drinking alcohol. Have fun but know your limits and never push them. A few more drinks may seem like fun at the time, but it is never a good idea. Keep a close eye on your drinks and never leave them unattended at any point. Pace yourself!
- If walking home after a night out, always stay in well-lit areas where there are plenty of people. Always plan a route home and make sure you stick to places you know. Never take shortcuts, especially down dark allies, by canals or through unlit parks.