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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Ulster Bank in Ballymena designated as ‘Safe Place’ for victims of economic or domestic abuse

Ulster Bank Ballymena

The local branch of Ulster Bank, on Wellington Street, Ballymena has been designated as a Safe Space as part of NatWest's campaign during 'No More Week’.

Launched last week, Ulster Bank announced a selection of branches across Northern Ireland will offer Safe Spaces to people experiencing economic and domestic abuse as part of a wider campaign launched by NatWest to mark ‘No More Week’.

A total of 19 Ulster Bank branches will act as Safe Hubs for anyone experiencing harm in locations throughout Northern Ireland with Coleraine, Magherafelt and Belfast City Centre also joining Ballymena on the list.

Safe Spaces, launched by domestic abuse charity Hestia as part of the ‘UK Says No More' campaign, are designated locations which anyone experiencing economic and domestic abuse can use. Upon asking a member of staff to use a space, people will be given access to a private room to help them deal with the issue. They will be provided with the use of a phone if they need one, and the chance to discreetly contact family, friends, or specialist support.

This coincides with 'No More Week', launched by the charity Hestia, which raises 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.

Specialist training on Safe Spaces and domestic abuse awareness has been carried out by employees across NatWest, Royal Bank and Ulster Bank branches.

This work follows NatWest’s, Ulster Bank’s parent group, further donation of £1m to The Circle Fund, totalling £2m in partnership with SafeLives. The Fund has supported frontline services with crisis intervention, increasing safety and ensuring survivors are supported in the right way, at the right time. For example, it has been used to provide secure locations and Ring doorbell systems. It has also provided essentials such as food and cots, winter shoes and bus fares.

Terry Robb, Head of Retail Banking at Ulster Bank said:

“We know that people from all walks of life can experience economic and domestic abuse. As a bank we have a duty to provide support to our own customers and indeed people within our local communities, identify those who need support and offer them a Safe Space where they can go on to access the help and care they need.

“To date we have designated 19 branches in Northern Ireland as Safe Spaces however we hope that as more of our colleagues undergo this specialist training, we can offer this vital service across the wider branch network.

"It’s really important to be playing a part in helping not only our own customers, but people within our communities who need help by providing a Safe Space where they can go and access support safely.”

Patrick Ryan, Chief Executive at Hestia, added:

“Having a safe place to seek support is vital for victims of domestic abuse. 1 in 5 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 Ulster Bank has partnered with us to ensure that more victims can safely access support. Staff across over 360 branches have participated in our domestic abuse training, and we hope that other organisations will follow their lead."

Ulster Bank has a dedicated team who support customers experiencing domestic, economic and financial abuse. Customers can:


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