For When Good Times Go Bad: New NightSafe Building Opens In Gladstone

For When Good Times Go Bad: New NightSafe Building Opens In Gladstone

The new building, located at 24 Goondoon Street, is a volunteer-supported program that aims to help people for when good nights out turn bad.

NightSafe is intended to be your safe space in the CBD overnight, and offers a quiet and friendly space to get off the street or to wait for a lift. Also available is first-aid for when you’ve been injured, and four beds that are a nurse-led rest and recovery space for those affected by alcohol or other drugs, and are requiring monitoring and care.

Paul Koen, the Gladstone ChaplainWatch Team Leader, said that the building has already had several busy weekends, and are expecting more to come. Luckily, though, the space is fully prepared to deal with whatever may happen. This includes the rest and recovery space, sick bags, comprehensive first-aid supplies including an AED and medical oxygen, and welcoming and caring staff waiting to receive you.

The staff and volunteers come from a broad range of backgrounds, and all are fully first-aid trained. They also have other trainings including chaplaincy, mental health first-aid, nursing, and crisis intervention. This means that they are more than able to provide care to people who are intoxicated, injured, upset or all three.

“We have volunteers at the moment, but we are always looking for other people to join our team. Ideally, we would love to have more nurses to be able to help us with people who are really injured, while we support people waiting for ambulances.” said Paul.

“People interested in volunteering don’t have to have any medical training to enquire, and lots of training and support is provided.”

The NightWatch Chaplains are prepared to support people in all kinds of personal crisis, and are not just available as a first-aid service.

“People don’t just always go out for a good time, sometimes when people go out and drink too much it’s because they’re escaping something.

“We also have volunteers here who are able to help with crisis support, and that means people who are in danger of harming themselves.”

Along with the fantastic care facilities, the building is also furnished with a kitchen area for volunteers, to allow them to catch their breath during such a diverse and often high-intensity job.

“This area out here is where our volunteers can take their breaks, and just have a rest. Sometimes, this sort of work can be really hard.”

As well as having a walk-ins-welcome building on Goondoon Street, volunteers at NightWatch can also be found walking the streets overnight, wearing hi-vis vests that are fitted with first-aid kits and radios.

“The vests contain first-aid kits, torches, sick bags, and a radio- so that if we potentially find someone in need of our help, we can tell people back at the building that we need water, a wheelchair, or an ambulance.”

Parked outside the front of the NightWatch building is also the specially-modified ChaplainWatch car. The boot contains an advanced first-aid kit, a full P.A system, and flashing lights. As well as being able to provide thorough first-aid, the P.A system and bright lights helps to break up any fights.

In future, Paul said that they will have a mobile phone charging station installed, to save people from the stress of not being able to call a lift home. Paul also said that people are free to come inside, sit down, and have some water while they wait for a taxi home.

NightWatch are open every Friday and Saturday night, and public holidays, from 10:30pm until 3:30am. If you are interested in volunteering, call 0423 005 000, or send an email to info@chaplainwatch.org.au. Or, you can follow the cues on the ChaplainWatch website, at www.chaplainwatch.org.au/volunteer.

Pictured: Paul Koen and Zanelle Hughes.