Camden marks International Women’s Day with events and promotion of a scheme to help keep women and girls safe at night

To mark this year’s International Women’s Day, Camden Council is reaching out to businesses to sign up to the ‘Ask Angela’ scheme to help residents and visitors to Camden particularly women and girls, who are out at night.

The scheme, launched by the Met Police, allows people to get help discreetly by approaching venue staff and asking them for ‘Angela’. This will then indicate to staff that help is needed, and a trained member of staff will then look to support and assist them.

Camden Council is working to encourage licensed businesses including bars, clubs and restaurants, to sign up to the scheme and is arranging staff to be trained to help people who may need it, which could be through reuniting them with a friend, seeing them to a taxi, or by calling venue security and/or the police.

The management of The Arygle Pub on Greville Street, one of the licenced businesses who has signed up to the scheme said “It is so important that women feel safe when they come into the pub. All my staff are trained and know the signs to look out for as well as the code word ‘Angela’.  We are doing our bit to make sure we provide the right help and support and I'm pleased that the Council is encouraging more Camden businesses to do the same."

Councillor Pat Callaghan, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities

Our priority is for residents, particularly women and girls, to go out during the evening and at night and feel safe. That’s why as part of our work to improve women’s safety in Camden, we are reaching out to businesses to sign up to the ‘Ask Angela’ scheme for residents to get help if they find themselves in an uncomfortable situation while at their venue. We are committed to working alongside businesses in Camden to improve resident safety at night and hope more venues will come forward to take up the training we have on offer.

Councillor Pat Callaghan, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities

Over the last six months the Police have led the delivery of training sessions for licensed premises on the ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme to encourage venues to adopt this initiative. Camden’s Licensing service and Community Safety teams continue to engage with licensed premises to encourage them to sign up to a scheme which focuses on developing women’s safety initiatives within their premises.

Licensed premises will also be presented with an opportunity to become a signatory to the London Mayors Women’s Night Safety Charter which Camden Council is part of.

This is part of wider work to improve safety for women and girls at night, including the launch of the borough’s first ever Camden Safety Hub to assist people who might find themselves in an uncomfortable situation, vulnerable state or needing some extra help or support during a night out. The hub is located at 1 Dockray Place, NW1 8QH, on Friday and Saturday evenings from 7pm to midnight.

Businesses can sign up to the ‘Ask Angela’ scheme at Registration Form

Celebrating the achievements of women

As well as recognising the challenges that women and girls can face, International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women and calls for women’s equality.

To mark the day, Camden is hosting a variety of events during the week, including a science fiction writing workshop for women, special sports events for girls and young women and talks at Camden libraries.

Full list of events:

  • Wednesday 8 March, 6-7.30pm: Writing workshop for Women at Swiss Cottage Gallery 
  • Wednesday 8 March, 5-7pm: A Global Women’s Strike event for International Women’s Day 2023. Andhra Pradesh Natural Farming comes to Kentish Library - Solveig Francis, based at Crossroads Women’s Centre, will report on her recent visit to the growing women-led farmers’ movement in Andhra Pradesh state, in India.
  • Free weekly sessions at Talacre community sports centre every Thursday for girls to learn new skills and build confidence from 4.30pm – 6pm for ages 8 to 14.
  • Two talks by Camden’s local studies and archive centre:
  • Crossroads Women’s Centre - Making Trouble, Making History 1975-2022: In this illustrated talk, founding member Solveig Francis, tells the story of the Crossroads Women’s Centre, one of the oldest women’s centres in the country, from its origins as a squat in Drummond Street in 1975 up to the present day. Shoda Rackal, a current worker at the Centre, will talk about some of its current activities.
  • From Paper to Print -The hidden manuscript of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s Turkish Embassy Letters - When Lady Mary Wortley Montagu – a famous society woman– died in 1762, she left behind a manuscript of letters written during her time Turkey. They contained first-hand observations of life in a Muslim country, from the position of women to early forms of vaccination. Despite her family’s best efforts, they were published the following year, causing a sensation. But how did they make it into print? In this illustrated talk, Emma Yandle, Curator & Collections Manager at Chawton House, Hampshire, follows the trail from a Reverend in Rotterdam to a publisher on the Strand, and a little-known manuscript held by Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre. More information on both these events will be found here.