Fast food chain McDonald's has been spreading the news that young people can find refuge in London branches in Hackney, Islington and Camden.

A representative from McDonalds' Mare Street branch and the Children's Safety Education Foundation (CSEF) visited Urswick School on Paragon Road on Monday (May 23).

Pupils were informed that if in trouble, they can seek help with managers at McDonalds, until police arrive, under its Safe Haven policy.

Students at the Hackney school were also given booklets published by CSEF and funded by McDonald's.

The Respect: 'Your Life, Your Choice' booklets have helped more than 2000 students in 10 secondary schools across Hackney and surrounding areas explore issues around peer pressure, anti-social behaviour, drugs and domestic abuse.

Amir Atefi, who owns several McDonald's franchises in London, said: “This book delivers some very important messages to young people in our neighbourhoods about what it means to be a good citizen.

“It gives lots of positive advice and guidance about how they can make the right choices and decisions that help keep us all safe, which will have a positive benefit for everyone in our communities.”

Alan Hunnable, assistant head teacher at Urswick said the school is "delighted" to be working with CSEF and Mcdonald's.

He described the Safe Haven project as "greatly valued".

Michael Fitzgerald, from CSEF, added: “As part of the Respect Programme we encourage young people to challenge stereotypes, consider opposing viewpoints and examine citizenship issues.

“We are delighted to receive this support from McDonald’s, which will enable us to continue our vital work in the community.”

CSEF is a charitable provider of interactive children’s safety education.

The following McDonald's branches have a Safe Haven policy:

The Angel – Islington

Highbury Corner

Holloway Road

City Road



Kentish Town