Published on 23rd November 2023

Logo for 16 days action campaign 2023

Saturday 25 November will see the beginning of the council’s support for ’16 Days of Action’, an international campaign against gender-based violence.

A variety of actions to improve safety in Cheltenham and information to support victims of domestic abuse will be shared on the council’s social media channels.

Safety actions identified to date from Cheltenham’s current safety survey, commissioned by The Communities Partnership (TCP), that will support improved safety at night and during special events. 

The open survey which closes in January, invites people that use the town centre - particularly women and girls - to say how safe they feel in the evening and at night in the town centre.

Cllr Flo Clucas, cabinet member for safety and communities, said: “Every woman, every girl has the right to feel safe in Cheltenham. Whether at home, at work, at school, in town, or on our streets being safe is a right, not a privilege. So, we are working with our partners on our 16 days of action.

“We hope that our residents and businesses will unite with us and show their support.”

Tracey Birkinshaw, chair of TCP, said: “Working towards preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls is a call to action that we can all play a positive role in and have an active voice. Cheltenham has an embedded culture of partnership working and through the TCP seeks to ensure we work on collective action that builds on our strong multi-agency network to influence change. Supporting the 16 Days of Action provides an opportunity to trigger important conversations, highlight key messages and raise awareness.”

Cheltenham’s evening and night time offer is recognised for its choice of food and dining venues, vibrant arts and culture and appeal of its attractive, well used public spaces. Since 2016, Cheltenham has proudly held Purple Flag status in recognition for helping to create safe and thriving locations at night for all users.

Colin Pilsworth, evening and night-time economy coordinator, continued: “We support the 16 Days of Action as we want to ensure that we continue to work effectively with our partners - keeping Cheltenham safe and fully inclusive both in the day and the night-time. 

“We’ve delivered vulnerability training to staff from our member venues, providing them with the skills and confidence to challenge and deal with any inappropriate behaviour they witness within their venue. We also operate a zero-tolerance policy in respect of such behaviour and will exclude anyone found to be engaging in inappropriate behaviour from all member venues. and urge others to join us and give their support.”

This year, to mark the final day of the 16 Days of Action campaign, the council will be holding a peaceful vigil at the front of the Municipal Offices on Sunday 10 December.

The vigil will focus on solidarity, hope and progress for the future. Dr Louise Livesey senior lecturer in criminology from the University of Gloucestershire and Cllr Flo Clucas will be attending, with speeches. Everyone is welcome to join and offer their support. During the vigil, message tags from Cheltenham Community Safety Partnership for people to add messages of solidarity will be displayed outside the Municipal Offices. Following the vigil, the messages will be moved to the pod on the high street for people to see.

For media enquiries, contact: communications, telephone 01242 264231, email [email protected]

Cheltenham Borough Council is working with the following partners:

Cheltenham Borough Homes
County Community Projects
Gloucestershire Police
Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service
Gloucestershire University
Oakwood and Gardners Lane Federation
Gloucestershire Rape and Sexual Assault Centre
Cheltenham Bid

Cheltenham Safe is a retail crime reduction scheme, working in partnership with the Police, Cheltenham Borough Council, the Chamber of Commerce and other key partners. Cheltenham Safe operates two schemes: daysafe and nightsafe. Find out more