It is no secret that getting home safe after a night out is no easy task for many people, particularly if you’re young and a woman or femme-presenting. And it’s even worse in big cities like London. But this month, a new campaign has been announced to help people get home safe without the need to worry, but what is Home Safe London?
What does the campaign do?
From the 1st of December in London, members of the public who are a little strapped for cash can get an Uber, Bolt or taxi home and then apply for a Home Safe refund of up to £10 per trip. The campaign was announced on the 2nd November, and since then has raised close to £6,000 in donations.
Why has the campaign been started?
The creator of Home Safe London, Match Sienkiewicz is a London-based student. He created Home Safe in the hope that it will encourage more people to take taxis and Ubers rather than travelling home alone or through less safe methods of travel (i.e the night buses or walking).
He told the media that he founded Home Safe when conversation after conversation with his female friends that highlighted how unsafe they felt walking home, but that they had to do so due to the cost of the alternative. Match said that, “[he] started Home Safe because [he] felt like there was a real absence of men talking about women’s safety”. He then went on to tell The Independent more on this, explaining that, “around the time of Sarah Everard’s disappearance, a lot of my girl friends were talking about it and sharing things online, but there was shockingly little support from the male community”, and that he “felt a responsibility to do something about it”.
This is definitely a step in the right direction, considering that the Office for National Statistics estimates that one in two women have felt or do feel unsafe walking alone after dark, and even one in five men have said the same. Home Safe London is aimed at women, but Match has emphasised that it is welcome to “anyone who needs it”.
Match has also opened up about his own experiences travelling in London, saying how he “used to work a bar job” and “used to walk home because the cost of the taxi journey was twice the amount of what [he] would earn in an hour”.
This news comes just in time as Uber recently raised their base fare from £2.50 to £2.75 and increased their per-minute and per-mile rates by 10%.
How do you claim a refund?
If you’re looking to use Home Safe’s services, you will be able to claim a refund through their website once it launches on December 1st. All you’ll need to do is fill out a simple form with your details and provide your receipt from your Bolt, Uber or cab.
Match has also said that he is working towards finding and curating a team of volunteers who can operate a phone line and call, book and pay for taxis on behalf of those unable to book themselves.