Thousands of cards to help students stay safe in Plymouth
THOUSANDS of new students have been given cards which contain details of their next-of-kin should they be involved in an accident.
The licensed trade's Best Bar None BBN) organisation is behind the In Case of Emergency (ICE) cards and will hand out 20,000 during the next few weeks.
BBN has already given away about 4,000 cards to students new to the city by targeting the freshers' fairs at Plymouth University, City College Plymouth and UCP Marjon.
Others will be placed in the mobile treatment centre used by police and emergency services in the city centre during the evening and night.
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More will also be placed in "young persons' venues" and "student-led pubs".
"They will be pretty much everywhere," said BBN chairman Mick McDonnell. "Everyone I've spoken to says what a good idea it is.
"It's about keeping the youngsters safe."
The cards contain space for students to fill in their names and the names and contact details of their next-of-kin.
It means someone can be contacted if the card-bearer is involved in an accident, not necessarily alcohol-related, and is incapable of giving details.
Last year 5,000 cards were given out, and the scheme was hailed a success by the emergency services so this year it has been increased.
Mr McDonnell said BBN has 20,000 cards to distribute and has asked bar bosses to make door staff aware the cards are being carried by youngsters.
He said the response from freshers had been "encouraging" and from older students too.
"It was also good to see some had the cards already and wanted to exchange last year's for new ones with the new branding," he said. "There were second-year students carrying them in their wallets."
Mr McDonnell said the cards were being issued in conjunction with BBN being involved in the Top Night campaign.
"This is aimed at young females to ensure they have a safe night out, and is fully supported by BBN," Mr McDonnell said.
He said the campaign is stressing five important principles it wants young people to adhere to:
don't go home with someone you've just met
know your limits
stay safe, stay together
know your taxi company
"We have started putting stickers in venues," Mr McDonnell said.
On Thursday, staff from Varsity, at Derry's Cross, will attend a Parliamentary reception at the House of Lords when the overall national BBN winner will be announced.
The bar won the top prize in the Plymouth BBN awards last year and is invited to London as a guest of Lord Redesdale, national chairman of BBN.
Meanwhile, Varsity's successor will be announced at Plymouth's BBN awards next Tuesday, at the Holiday Inn.