It has come after recent events in the UK
he woman behind a scheme that delivered female-only taxis for women in Sri Lanka who were getting harassed on public transport says they could be on their way to Nottingham.
Mary Storrie and husband Graham set up the Rosie May Foundation in memory of their murdered daughter, who was just 10-years-old when she was killed at a Christmas party in December 2003.
The Bingham-based charity has previously helped children in Nepal return to school after an earthquake and set up an orphanage in Sri Lanka.
It has also set up the female-only taxis using tuk tuks in the same country.
And now because of recent events, such as the Me Too movement and the murder of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old woman who was kidnapped and killed on her way home in South London, Mary is planning to bring the taxis to Nottingham and the UK.
Named the Think Pink Taxis, these taxis would all be driven by women, which would be pre-booked and pre-paid, giving an additional safety net for the driver.
While electric vehicles instead of tuk tuks are planned to be used in Nottingham, it’s hoped the new project will pilot in the first quarter of 2022.
Mary Storrie said: “We feel as though now the time is right to do this, especially on the back of what’s happened with Sarah Everard and that there’s a shortage of taxi drivers post-pandemic.
“It gives that safety of women picking up other women, and we’re thinking our target market will be female students or those who are later in life in the community, women on their own.
“It also offers a way for women to get into the employment market and we want to start it in Nottingham as it’s the home of the charity, and who knows, it could end up across Nottinghamshire and even further afield.”
Users would download an app and be able to pre-book and pre-pay for their taxi.
The scale of it all depends on what funding can be secured, and how successful the pilot is.
Mary said: “We’ll start with a small fleet and all being well, if it’s a success, we’ll then roll it out.
“It’s proven it has worked in Sri Lanka and we feel it is a replicable model that would work elsewhere, and we’re keen to use electric vehicles as moving forward, that’s the way to go.
“It’s a big challenge, and I’ve wanted to do this for some time.”
In Sri Lanka, the Rosie May Foundation helped to train women in Sri Lanka to drive tuk tuks, so they could introduce female-driven tuk tuks to be used by women only.
It’s because of women there being harassed on public transport while on their commute.
Mary said: “If you ask women if they would prefer a male or female taxi driver, most women would tell you that they’d prefer a female taxi driver, so we’re trying to offer a choice for women.”
The charity has raised £2million and has helped thousands of people across the world.
Its first project, the Rosie May Home, helped home hundreds of Sri Lankan girls who were orphaned by the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.
Mary said: “We had an amount of money sent to us from all over the world, and we actually collected £22,000 in the first year.
“People sent it for our family to use, but we never felt it was the right thing to do…
“After the tsunami, we watched the death count rising on the TV and we decided that maybe we could use it to help children that had been made parentless as a result of the tsunami.
“And that’s how the charity started.”
Since then, the foundation has worked on a range of different projects, all with the purpose to help women and children.
In 2015, after the devastating earthquakes in Nepal, the charity set their sights on rebuilding a destroyed primary school, which helped the community even more than just by educating the children.
Mary said:” Natural disasters are a perfect time for traffickers to prey on vulnerable families.
“Traffickers were moving to remote locations and trying to persuade parents to give their children to them to take them to boarding schools.
“Because we rebuilt the primary school, children were kept safe from the traffickers and families were kept together.”