A "sanctuary" for those who need a safe place to go on a night out in High Wycombe town centre is launching this weekend.

Wycombe Sanctuary is a new project by Thames Valley Police, HWBidCo, All Saints Church and Street Angels.

It will provide a "safe space" for vulnerable people on a night out in the town centre who need somewhere to go for "recovery, respite and refreshment".

Based at All Saints Church in the centre of town, the sanctuary will be open for visitors from 10pm until 2am every Friday initially, with a view to increasing opening hours to include Saturdays in future.

The new project aims to support town centre businesses who are part of the nighttime economy as more and more revellers start to return to clubs and bars after Covid restrictions were eased.

It comes as new and returning students head to Bucks New University in the town for the start of the new academic year.

Stephen Bobbett, from Thames Valley Police, believes ‘Wycombe Sanctuary’ will help make High Wycombe a safer place to be at nighttime.

He said: “We are delighted to be working as part of the new safety ‘hub’ and are confident it will represent a place of safety for some of our most vulnerable people, offering warmth, support and a friendly welcome to all those in need.”

Chief executive of HWBIDCo, Melanie Williams, said the sanctuary will be an important addition to the town centre now that more people are heading out to pubs and bars again.

She said: "Development of ‘Wycombe Sanctuary’ has been in the pipeline for a while, and it’s wonderful to be able to support licensed premises in the town with this venture, the nighttime economy is in need of a boost and ensuring that visitors to the town centre feel safe is absolutely imperative.”

The sanctuary launches this Friday, September 24, and will be staffed by a team of volunteers.

Gareth Morley, a curate at All Saints Church, added: "This is a vitally important project which will help those in need of extra support or anyone feeling vulnerable whilst out in the town centre.

"We have a great team in place to engage with visitors but welcoming more volunteers to assist on weekend evenings is also crucial to ensure longevity of the project.”

For more information, and to enquire about becoming a volunteer, contact ‘Wycombe Sanctuary’ by emailing gareth.morley@outlook.com