Local shop owner, Mandy Abramson, has successfully launched a campaign to help keep our children safe in the town centre. Following a frightening incident that took place in Skipton just a few days ago, the owner of Cinderella’s bridal shop felt immediate action needed to be taken. A girl aged just 11 years old was approached by a man in his 30’s. The man in question allegedly passed her a piece of paper with his phone number on and said to her, ‘Call me’. Unsure where else to go, the young girl ran all the way from the centre of town to family in the Raikes Road area.

Mandy initially shared her idea in the Skipton Community Noticeboard group on Facebook and received some wonderful words of encouragement from locals. Members agreed that there should be places within the centre of town where children feel they can go to when feeling vulnerable or under threat.

Having successfully gained the support of local residents and fellow business owners, Mandy took her suggestion to the relevant authorities including North Yorkshire Police. In just 48 hours and with the support of Skipton BID, the Child Safety scheme has been launched as part of Skipton’s existing Business Crime Reduction Partnership. Brand new window stickers are being distributed and displayed so children will know where they can go should a similar situation occur.

Mandy said:

“ I saw a post on the community page about an 11 year old girl who had been approached by a stranger and given a phone number to ring. My Ellie is 11 and it made me shudder! I was struck mostly by the fact that the girl was frightened and ran home. She did the right thing, but I felt a safer option would be to get off the street immediately, by entering a nearby shop and asking for help. All our children need is a safe place to stay while they phone home and wait to be collected by family or friends. The massive positive response to my original post on the community site is evidence of it being something that parents and local businesses would like to see too. I am really proud of how the Skipton community has got behind this so strongly that the scheme is now taking place less than 48 hours later. Many thanks to Skipton BID, the police, the town ambassadors and the local officials who have made this possible. It is amazing what can be achieved when we all work together.”

The current safe places are around town include: Boyes, Oxfam, Next, Cinderella’s and Skipton Library. We will publish a full list when this becomes available and all those wishing to participate have been through the relevant checks.

Please take a moment to look at this poster and show it to your children. Any business in town which displays this sticker, is part of the scheme and will assist any young person who is or likely to be, the victim of a crime.

Skipton Business Crime Reduction Partnership

Businesses on the scheme so far, include Boyes, Oxfam and Skipton Library.

The event involving the 11-year-old local girl was frightening for both her and her family. However, it was also a wake-up call and a sign that something needed to be done to ensure the safety of our children.

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