At the recent NTE Summit, we spoke to the Director of ’help Me Angela’, Michelle Roycroft
‘help Me Angela’ is a unique personal safety app that helps the staff of nightclubs venues travel safely home at night. It includes an urgent messaging service, Get me out of here feature, Incident Recovery Programme and Therapy Service. Their Guardian Angels are available 24/7, ideal for the late-night entertainment sector.
Michelle Roycroft, the Director of ‘help Me Angela’, sat down with NDML during the 2023 NTE Summit and described their mission and how the app has been built from her own background as a former Metropolitan Police Officer.
“The event has been so fantastic for us because people have heard of Ask for Angela, but they haven’t heard of ‘help Me Angela’. We are the UK’s first personal safety app that connects you straight away, 24/7 to a live personal safety specialist.”
“As a former police officer we looked at all the situations that anybody could find themselves in; feeling vulnerable before an incident, or if you are involved in an incident, or event after an incident.”
“We’ve got a unique incident recovery package that picks you up, replaces anything that gets stolen as a result of the incident, and then we look after your physical and mental wellbeing.”
“We’ve had some great engagement [at the NTE event], particularly with some of the police forces that gave been attending, owners of establishments which have lots of staff within the hospitality industry, and with [organisations such as] Leeds University.”
“So it really resonates – for such a cheap subscription price, we believe we offer a complete solution to personal safety.”
We asked Michelle, after the vilifying of nightclubs and late night leisure in the past couple years, does she feel the app will bring confidence back to both operators and users?
“Absolutely, [confidence for] not just the operators but the staff as well. [Hospitality and leisure] is a notoriously transient occupation, people may do it for six to eight months. Having something like ‘help Me Angela’ which you then offer to your staff, will show that operators care, encourage retainment, encourage the best to come and work for them.”
‘help ME Angela’, app for Late Night Venue Staff now available
The app is currently available on a free trial for hospitality venues. It’s then £4.99 for a monthly subscription.
The NTIA see the value and announces partnership with ‘help Me Angela’
The Night Time Industries Association has partnered with ‘help Me Angela’ app, recommending responsible nightlife venues get involved.
Michael Kill CEO NTIA said:
“The welfare and safety of our staff within our businesses is of paramount importance. Throughout the pandemic and with the very difficult current trading conditions operators have worked hard to bring their workforces back up to full strength and to reinforce job security, safety, and support for all workers.”
“As an organisation we have been working closely with “help me Angela”, which looks to safeguard staff travelling home from work at night, using a unique personal safety app which has some exceptional features which will allow staff to feel confident and safer as they travel to and from work at night.”
Michelle Roycroft, in a statement on their partnership with the NTIA, said:
“Our partnership with NTIA will allow us to provide operators in the night-time economy with a well-being tool that offers reassurance and 24/7 live support when you need us the most.“
“We believe that feeling safe is not a privilege, it’s your right.”
Ask For Angela Intiative, personal safety solution for customers
Back in 2021, The Night Time Industries Association partnered with a similar intiative from Zapaygo. It was an ‘Ask for Angela’ feature, launched across all NTIA venues as part of the broader safeguarding initiative available to businesses. This version is designed to protect customers in danger.
The Ask for Angela app campaign helps both male and female nightlife customers escape a situation which they feel is unsafe. However, rather than people having to find and speak directly to a member of staff, the new feature enables app users to alert venue staff to a personal safety concern by selecting the Ask for Angela option from a participating venue’s menu, as simply as if they were ordering a drink on their phone.
Venues wishing to use this feature would receive the notification, like any other order, through the Zapaygo system, and implement their safety protocol without individuals needing to speak to a member of staff directly. This offers an additional way to access the ‘Ask for Angela’ initiative which may be beneficial to better support people wishing to receive support anonymously.
Back when the scheme was announced in 2021, NTIA CEO Michael Kill said:
“This initiative will enhance the communication channels between customers and staff when they are feeling vulnerable or compromised. It is clear that the enhanced mitigations around searching, communication and training alongside safety mechanisms like this initiative will go a long way to building confidence in the sector, and the ability for people to enjoy a safe night out.”
At NDMl, we are always looking out for new ways to support our venues. After the success fo Ask For Angela, now found in most nighttime clubs, pubs and bars, we hope further ask-for-angela-style intitives will be founded, helpling to improve the safety and inclusion of our nightlife sector.
Thank you to Michelle Roycroft for her time. To get started on making positve change for your venue, contact your broker below.