A SAFE haven initiative will launch in Forth Valley this weekend to provide a safe environment for anyone visiting Stirling at night.

Following a successful pilot, Safebase will be available to provide support and assistance on Friday, September 17 and Saturday, September 18 as students return to the city.

The project, supported by Go Forth Stirling, the Scottish Ambulance Service, Police Scotland and other agencies, includes volunteer-led first aid patrols and a safe area for people to shelter if they have been stranded due to injury, incapacity or missing transport home.

Stirling Street Pastors will also be patrolling city centre streets to offer help and provide a vital service by looking out for anyone who finds themselves in a vulnerable situation during their night out.

Richard Mclennan, chair of Safebase Scotland, said: "Our aim is to create a safer experience for people who are out enjoying Stirling's night-time economy.

"Our team can help with a variety of situations – for example if people are lost or need help to find a taxi home.

"They can carry out first aid which minimises the need for ambulances to come into the city centre and means that injured people may not need to visit A&E.

"We can also provide mental health support by giving people the space to come and chat for a while and we have somewhere safe for individuals to wait while we help them organise transport if they've missed the last bus home.

"It's very much a partnership initiative with everyone working together to triage and resolve situations with the shared goal of making Stirling a safer place."

Safebase will operate between 10pm and 3am on both nights with the safe haven located at the service entrance of the Thistles on Goosecroft Road.

Meanwhile, first-aid and Street Pastor patrols will be underway in Goosecroft Road, Forth Place, Upper Craigs, King Street, Baker Street, Murray Place, Maxwell Place and other central locations.

Danielle McRorie-Smith, Go Forth Stirling project director, added: "Safebase will help make Stirling a secure and welcoming environment for everyone and Go Forth Stirling are delighted to be a partner on this initiative.

"It also means we can minimise anti-social behaviour and ensure community safety is promoted.

"Safebase is staffed by individuals from various community partner agencies, and after a successful pilot, the scheme can only grow and continue to demonstrate a positive approach to partnership working for the benefit of Stirling and its patrons."

Following this weekend's operations, the project is due to return at Halloween and during the festive season running up to Christmas and New Year.

Visit safebasescotland.org for more information.