You can help shape a brand-new Safer Streets initiative to help tackle women’s safety in the fitness industry by taking part in a short survey.
A collaboration between the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire, Newark and Sherwood District Council and Nottinghamshire Police aims to tackle the negative experiences through creating the Safer Gym Group.
To make the initiative as experienced based as possible, those running the scheme have designed a survey to gather the views of women and their encounters surrounding feelings of safety within gyms.
The anonymous survey is county wide, covering all of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and will close on 31 March.
By filling out the survey, your voices can be heard and understood to shape the way in which the Safer Gym Group can help women who have had negative experiences in gyms across Nottinghamshire.
Caroline Henry, Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire, said: “In every situation I always urge women who have experienced inappropriate behaviour to speak out and help us stop this happening safe in the knowledge that the police always take this seriously.
“I must admit the gym is not my natural stomping ground, but I want every single person who chooses to go to feel safe when they do so.
“Nobody should ever feel as though they have to change their exercise routine because they’re scared of negative behaviours, so let’s group together and change it.”
Attending the gym is a key part of many people's lives so, as part of the Newark Safer Streets project, partners want to ensure fitness facilities are enjoyable and a comfortable space for all members by creating this group.
It will come from the Safer Streets funding secured by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire Caroline Henry, which has a large focus on violence against women and girls.
The group will be made up of local gyms who wish to participate in the scheme and they will all receive training on how to support those who may experience unwanted attention or harassment when using their facilities.
Safer Streets Project Manager and the Safer Gym Group creator, Eleanor Smalley, from Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Exercise is an important part of many people’s lives, it has multiple health benefits and therefore we want to ensure facilities are a comfortable place for everyone to use.
“The survey is a great opportunity to tell us about your experiences within the fitness industry.
“Some women are put off going for a range of reasons and after doing some research into this there are changes we can introduce which are likely to make women feel more comfortable attending and making use of these facilities.”
Councillor Roger Jackson, Portfolio Holder for Cleaner, Safer, Greener, at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “I’m pleased to see the Safer Streets project once again allowing residents to have their say on safety in their community.
“We are committed to working with our partners from the project to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime, and violence against women and girls is one of our key focusses during this project.
“It is important for anyone visiting a gym to feel safe, and this survey is a key indicator to those running them about customers’ experiences.”
Councillor Keith Girling, Chairman of Active4Today Ltd, said: “I want to encourage all women who attend a gym in Newark and Sherwood to have their voice heard by completing this short survey.
“It is vital that every gym management team is in the know about how safe women feel using their services and this survey will help us gain a deeper level of understanding of any incidents females may have experienced.”
To take part in the survey, click here.
Posted on Friday 17th March 2023