Sheffield's Know The Line campaign gains momentum since launch

More business owners in Sheffield have pledged their support to Know the Line campaign to combat sexual abuse and harassment within the hospitality sector since its launch last month.

The city-wide campaign was kicked off on May 17 to coincide with the fully reopening of the sector following the months-long lockdown, and the response has been fantastic.

Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield who spearheads the campaign, said venues across the city are supportive of the initiative as it gives them a platform to deal with the issue.

The Labour politician said this after visiting venues in Sheffield including The Frog and Parrot and the Leadmill on Thursday.

Paul Blomfield MP at Silver Plate who have signed up to the Know The Line campaign. L-R Sara Ody,Paul, Adam Longden, Alessio Costagiliola, Joe Cooper and Jessica Godber. Picture Scott Merrylees

He then went to The Silver Plate at the Sheffield College on Friday to speak to young workers and their views on sexual harassment at work.

He said: "The response from the venues has been great. It's been good talking to managers who want to treat the issues of sexual harassment seriously.

"The young women also described sexual harassment as almost normalised and they are delighted that the campaign provides framework through which sexual harassment can be challenged.

"They felt that it was important that the employers make the declaration they would treat the sexual harassment seriously because it gives the opportunity to deal with the incidents."

Know The Line poster behind the bar at the Frog and Parrot. Picture by Paul Blomfield MP

Ian Lawlor, the Leadmill General Manager said: "As the UK prepares to return to normality, we should use this opportunity for a restart and come back as a much better version of ourselves.

"Sexual harassment should not be tolerated in any shape or form, but especially in the events and entertainment industries where it has quite often historically gone unchallenged.

"The Leadmill is proud of creating a safe and welcoming environment to both it's customers and staff so fully supports the Know The Line campaign."

The Leadmill Promotions Manager Beth Okogba agreed: “We want every customer and staff member to feel safe in our venue and all venues across the country.

Know The Line sticker is being displayed.

"Everyone deserves to enjoy events without feeling harassed or unsafe. We're committed to ensuring this continues to be the case at The Leadmill and strongly support the Know The Line campaign.”

Eighteen-year-old Jessica Godber, who works as a Commis Chef at The Silver Plate said it was important for the campaign to happen now so everyone can speak more about it.

She said: "I've been working in the kitchen since I was 16, it's been pretty good to be honest, but obviously sexual harassment is an underlying issue (within the industry).

"You can see it's very prevalent in the industry, it's almost what you expect to go into it, which isn't what it should be."

Revolution Bar staff and Paul Blomfield with the Know The Line poster.

Paul said he would like to keep the momentum of the campaign going as he will make more visits to other venues such as hotels and cafes in the near future to gather more pledges.

The campaign is supported by The Star, Know the Line: Campaign against Sexual Harassment, Sheffield City Council, UNIGHT and other partners.

To sign the pledge and be part of the campaign, please go here.

Frog and Parrot also pledged to be part of the campaign. Picture by Paul Blomfield MP