TORONTO, Oct. 24, 2023 /CNW/ - Victim Services Toronto (VST) is proud to announce its ground-breaking partnership with Canada's leading grocery retailer, Loblaw Companies Ltd ("Loblaw") to launch a transformative program to enhance the safety and well-being of the Toronto community. This innovative initiative marks the local adaptation of the highly successful Ask for Angela campaign, originally established in the United Kingdom in 2016.
The Ask for Angela campaign has garnered widespread recognition throughout Europe for its remarkable ability to assist individuals who feel unsafe, vulnerable, or threatened at bars, clubs, and various other venues. Through its collaboration with Loblaw and its stores – including Real Canadian Superstore, Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, No Frills, Valu-Mart and Your Independent Grocers* -, VST aims to extend the reach of this program to Toronto, ensuring the safety and protection of patrons across the city.
The program revolves around discreetly approaching staff members at participating venues and requesting "Angela" as a code-phrase. This simple action will signal to the staff that the individual requires assistance. Promptly and compassionately, staff members will guide the person to a secure and private location, away from their companions, allowing for open dialogue and an accurate assessment of their needs.
Appropriate actions will be taken based on the individual's situation, which may include contacting the police if requested, Victim Services Toronto, a friend or guardian. It is important to note that the staff members at participating venues are not expected to provide counseling services but rather to facilitate the necessary support channels for those seeking help.
To ensure a seamless implementation, VST and Loblaw have developed a concise and user-friendly online training tool accessible to the staff of participating stores. This training includes a short video presentation and a guidance sheet, empowering staff members to effectively respond to individuals in need. Additionally, an eye-catching poster has been designed as a visual reminder of their crucial role in assisting those facing challenging situations.
By working together, the two organizations can foster a safer and more inclusive community where everyone feels protected and supported. This partnership represents a powerful collaboration between a respected community service organization and a renowned retailer, highlighting their shared commitment to community well-being.
About Victim Services Toronto (VST):
Victim Services Toronto is a leading organization committed to providing immediate crisis response, intervention, and prevention services to individuals affected by crime and sudden tragedies. With a mission to empower individuals, their families, and their communities, VST offers a range of specialized programs to ensure safety, support, and healing.
SOURCE Loblaw Companies Limited
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