To all the girls who have lost their friends, phone and eftpos card on a night out – there is still a way to get home safely.
Sophie Denman has set up ‘Sophies Angels,’ a passenger service with safety as their number one priority. An ex-Uber driver, Sophie recognised the need for a female-focused service when she noticed how relieved girls were when they noticed their driver was a female.
With a passion for passenger safety and care in mind, Sophie pushed to implement an ‘Angel System’ in 16 of Wellington’s Courtenay Place bars.
“If you feel threatened or in danger, go to the bar staff.
Tell them you need an Angel Shot,” Sophie says.
This will immediately let the bar staff know that the person is uncomfortable and in need of an intervention – whether it’s because of someone following them around, or because they have no way of getting home.
“If it’s become a big instance and you want to go home,
or it’s just ruined your night – they’ll call us, and we’ll give you a free ride home.”
Sophie covers all her bases, extending beyond the free rides and complimentary sick bags, mints and condoms.
“We also have emergency stay places for those who are too drunk to even remember where they live.”
This is at the Sophies Angels home office, where there are clean clothes and showers on hand, as well as someone to look after the person in need.
If someone does remember where they live, Sophie is happy to stick around if she’s needed.
“We have stayed for like, a good few hours with some groups of people because they’re just terrified that their friend is going to puke, and they don’t know how to put them in the recovery position. Mini recovery position courses while we’re there!” she says light-heartedly.
While the company is busy taking over Wellington, Sophie is already hoping to have Angels in every New Zealand university town by next year. There have even been talks of getting the service over to England.
Sophies Angels is a predominantly female-focused company because Sophie is always shocked at just how vulnerable girls are. However, she has never denied anyone a ride and boys are more than welcome.
She does this for love, not money – often out of her own pocket – and dreams of a world where her service one day won’t be needed because women aren’t preyed on.
“If we take over the world and then in 40-50 years we go bankrupt because we’re not needed, I will die an extremely happy person.”
Ladies – if you have had your full driver’s license for two years and are keen to earn your angel wings and some extra cash, send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.