NatWest rolls out new ‘Safe Space’ service in over 360 branches | Personal Finance | Finance


Group is offering a new in-branch “Safe Spaces” service to people experiencing economic and domestic abuse.

The service, rolled out in NatWest branches last week, is available in over 360 locations across the UK.

Safe Spaces, launched by domestic abuse charity Hestia as part of the UK Says No More campaign, are designated locations which anyone experiencing domestic abuse can use.

Upon asking a member of staff to use their safe space, people will have access to a private room to deal with the issue.

They will have access to a phone if needed, offering them the opportunity to discreetly reach out to family, friends, or specialist support.

Employees across NatWest branches have carried out specialist training on Safe Spaces and domestic abuse awareness.

Raghu Narula, MD of customer engagement and distribution, retail banking at NatWest Group said: “We know that people from all walks of life across communities in the UK have been affected by domestic and economic abuse.

“As part of the communities we serve, we know we can play an important role in providing practical support and access to trained specialists for what can be a truly isolating experience.

“We’re rolling these spaces out across the majority of our physical branch network to offer discreet face-to-face support, and we will continue to look at new ways to offer access and help for anyone experiencing economic and domestic abuse.”

The ‘UK Says No More’ is raising awareness against domestic abuse and sexual violence in the UK. The campaign provides open-source tools and resources for individuals and organisations to take action and get involved in making a difference.

Patrick Ryan, chief executive at Hestia, said: “Having a safe place to seek support is vital for victims of domestic abuse. One in five people in England and Wales will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

“By bringing our Safe Spaces to everyday places like banks and pharmacies, it means that anyone experiencing domestic abuse has the chance to access specialist help and advice or to call a loved one.

“It is fantastic to see more Safe Spaces on our high streets – and we are delighted that NatWest, Ulster Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland have partnered with us to ensure more victims can safely access support.”

Mr Ryan added: “Staff across over 350 branches have participated in our domestic abuse training, and we hope that other organisations will follow their lead.”

NatWest Group joins HSBC, The Co-operative Bank, Santander, TSB, and selected Metro Bank in offering the service.

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