DOZENS of safe spaces have opened up across Clacks and Stirling as more organisations look to provide places of refuge for people who may feel vulnerable.

Over the past year, 48 premises within the two areas have signed up to the Keep Safe initiative, which aims to provide places of safety for anyone feeling unwell or distressed.

Developed by the charity I Am Me Scotland and Police Scotland, the venues include shops, cafes and libraries.

Keep Safe hopes that by opening more areas up for those in need, more people will be encouraged to participate in daily community life free from the fear of harassment and harm.

Ellen Forson, Clacks Council leader, said: "I'm pleased to see so many Keep Safe places across Clackmannanshire, where people who may feel vulnerable know they can get care and advice.

"I hope our residents can continue to feel reassured when they're out and about in our communities."

The Speirs Centre is one of the designated Wee County Safe Spaces along with Alloa Police Station, Kilncraigs, Alloa Sheriff Court, Alloa Tesco, Alloa McDonald's and Ochil View Housing Association.

The Whins Centre in Alloa and the Alloa Job Centre are also signed up, along with Makers Cafe, the Crown Office, Boots the chemist, the Bank of Scotland and the Centre Space on Mill Street, Alloa.

All organisations in Clacks and Stirling that have signed up to the initiative have been issued with a Keep Safe sticker to display in their window.

Those who want to utilise the initiative can source a contact card from participating premises or download one from the I Am Me Scotland website.

Details of any communication requirements, health concerns as well as the contact details of the person's emergency contact can be added to the card as appropriate.

Annemargaret Black, chief officer of Clacks and Stirling Health and Social Care Partnership, said: "The large number of organisations across Stirling and Clackmannanshire who have shown a willingness to help our citizens who may feel vulnerable by joining the Keep Safe initiative is fantastic to see.

"It is important that all people feel safe in their communities and, for those feeling anxious, knowing that they have somewhere to turn if they need support can provide an invaluable reassurance.

"By providing these Keep Safe locations, we are creating an opportunity for people who don't always feel confident to participate freely in daily community life."

For details of current Keep Safe locations throughout Stirling and Clackmannanshire, visit