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Richmondite launches 'safe buddies' program

Program aims to help those who feel unsafe walking home alone
Vedanshi Vala
Vedanshi Vala, co-creator of Bolt, an app designed for personal safety is launching a new volunteer program to help those feel safer when walking home alone.

Richmondite Vedanshi Vala and her team will launch their latest volunteer program -- this one aiming to keep seniors, women and nonbinary people safer on the streets.

The not-for-profit BOLT Safety Society will have young adult recruits, coined Safe Buddies, walking with those who feel unsafe walking home alone starting April 10.

According to an email release from BOLT, this new initiative is in direct response to the recent spa shootings in Atlanta, as well as the increased number of attacks on elderly Asians and women who have been stalked in Vancouver.

“The goal of [Safe Buddies] is to foster compassion and keep our community safe,” said the email.

Canadian seniors 60 years old and older may use the service, as well as cis and trans women, through the BOLT platform on the WIX website builder mobile app.

This is not BOLT Safety Society’s first safety-focused initiative. The Richmond News has also reported on BOLT’s Safe Hubs, a platform for assisting victims of domestic abuse, and the BOLT app itself.

Vedanshi worked on the app with her team while still a high school student at McRoberts Secondary, with a mission to keep individuals safe in scenarios like a night out with friends or a blind date.