CNI Network has been chatting with this young lady today about a possible film about our work - she sent us this as an example of her work in the past - this is a powerful, moving and personal story and something that is essential viewing for all those working with homeless people and may give a background story to why they have ended up homeless...
Once again Angels will be a feature at Cornwall's biggest music festival.
Boardmasters, which runs from 7th - 11th August in Newquay's Watergate Bay, will have teams of Christian Festival Angels offering support and advice to the 50,000 festival goers.
In their third year at Boardmasters Festival Angels will be on patrol in fluorescent yellow tabards and distinctive Festival Angels t-shirts. They will offer help and support across the festival site including putting up tents, helping people navigate the site, signposting people to other support services and offering a friendly and welcoming presence.
The team's hub will also include the trendy 'Jesus Loves Festivals' banner and Gospels which is a great conversation starter and photo opportunity and ties in with the 'Jesus calls will you follow' banner plane flypast that will pass over Boardmasters.
Paul Blakey MBE, one of the Boardmasters Festival Angels coordinators and CEO of CNI Network who oversee this work, comments, "Boardmasters is a fantastic event for tens of thousands of young people. Our teams work with the organisers and welfare teams to keep festivalgoers safe and help them make the most of the festival. Boardmasters in its stunning location with amazing sunsets is a great event and one at which it is easy to see why Jesus Loves Festivals and Cornwall!"
Bishop of St Germans Rt Revd Chris Goldsmith says, "Jesus himself had a reputation for enjoying celebrations and the company of others. He regularly put himself where others could find him and that’s why we can say with confidence, Jesus loves festivals! Part of our distinct calling as church in Cornwall is to offer welcome and hospitality in the name of Jesus. We are delighted to welcome everyone at Boardmasters and the Christian Festival Angels from around the country to give us the opportunity to put that into practice. Please pray that the love, kindness and wisdom of Jesus will be evident at this year’s festival."
Boardmasters says, "We are delighted to welcome Festival Angels back to Boardmasters for their third year, and look forward to working with them and their volunteers this Summer".
For more information visit www.boardmastersfestivalangels.org.uk
Paul is the first interview on Praxis Centre for Hope and Activism podcast - the aim of Praxis is 'Speak up for justice. Restore hope to your community. Look for the life of the world to come. ' Listen to the interview here:
Source - Volunteering as a Street Angel
Every weekend you will see teams of Angels out and about in town and city centres. Armed with flip-flops, bottles of water, first aid kits and lollipops these fluorescent teams are helping people to have a safe and fun night out.
Started in 2005 as a response to Friday and Saturday nights in Halifax, where the town was known as the 'Wild West of West Yorkshire', Street Angels have spread their wings to work in around 130 local communities including Club Angels working inside club venues and Festival Angels at major music festival events.
The teams, often the church and community working together, generally have a major impact on the places they serve with violent crime and anti-social behaviour reduced, sometimes by as much as 58%.
The family of Street, Club and Festival Angels are connected through the CNI (Christian Nightlife Initiatives) Network who act as an umbrella organisation to support, promote, resource and celebrate the work of existing projects as well as be a catalyst to help launch new projects. CNI Network recently became a member of 'Advice for the Voluntary Sector' as a way of further offering help and support to their local projects should they need it.
Many of their local projects would love to welcome those who want to sample an evening as an Angel! Volunteers often say that the work they do is rewarding and that being part of a team of safe people on the streets, in a nightclub or at a festival is a practical way of demonstrating that the Christian faith has a relevant place within the local community.
The heart and vision of CNI Network is #MakingCityStreetsLikeNewAgain and our teams make that a reality each and every week as people are helped, partnerships with a wide range of agencies are formed and crime and anti-social behaviour is reduced.
For more information or to become an Angel with a local project visit cninetwork.org or follow us on Facebook (cninetwork) or Twitter (cninet).
We also have a book 'Street Angels - the amazing story from binge to better' which is available at a special price of £3 including postage atcninetwork.org/book . The book is packed with amazing stories of people and community transformation.
You can also take a look at who we are teamed up with and work alongside via our website www.cninetwork.org/resources, and we are also members of AFVS CIC who can be found on this page.
Paul Blakey MBE - Founder of CNI
Easter is with us and the first 4 day weekend/Bank Holiday of the year! For many of our street and club teams, this is a busy weekend and Easter Sunday, in particular, sees thousands of people enjoying that extra day’s lie in with a night out in the local town or city centre.
Our teams of Street Angels and Club Angels will be on hand to help ensure our Easter weekend revellers have a SafeNightOut.party. Alongside the flip-flops, bottles of water, plasters for blistered feet, directions to pubs and clubs, helping reunite friends many of our teams will be sharing the SafeNightOut.party poster on social media. Check out the poster and share it with your friends and on your social media…
Easter is also the start of the summer season – seaside destinations will come alive and other places prepare for a summer of sporting events and festivals.
The 4 day Tour de Yorkshire from 2nd to 5th May will see world-class cyclists speed their way through towns and villages across the Yorkshire region. Our teams of Street Angels will be out and about to help cheer the race on as well as be extra eyes and ears amongst the thousands of spectators. CNI Network has also helped promote Jesus Loves Yorkshire– a cool flat cap wearing Jesus design that shares a positive message with the millions of global viewers!
Have a fantastic Easter weekend and if you are out on the town have a SafeNightOut.party
Media Release - Angels are heading to Kendal Calling later this year
Teams of Festival Angels will be a feature at the popular music festival held each year in the grounds of Lowther Castle, Penrith.
The teams, many from local church communities, will be highly visible in yellow tabards and Festival Angel t-shirts. They will be manning safe hubs in several of the campsites as well as patrolling the camp areas and main arena offering support and advice to the 25,000 festival goers.
Festival Angels started in 2011 at Leeds Festival and has grown in size at Leeds with 190 volunteers offering a prayer cafe, detached teams, lost property, left luggage and safe hubs. Festival Angels has since spread its wings to other festivals including Royal Ascot, Boardmasters and, for the first time in 2019, Kendal Calling. Festival Angels have also developed a trendy 'Jesus Loves Festivals' design that is featured on banners with special copies of Mark's Gospel made available.
Paul Blakey MBE, the coordinator of Kendal Calling Festival Angels and CEO of CNI Network who oversee the work, comments, "Festival Angels is a great way for Christians to engage in these major events that attract thousands of people each year. Our volunteers are amazing people who work with the staff team towards ensuring that the festival is a safe, fun and welcoming place for those attending."
To volunteer as a Festival Angel at Kendal Calling or a number of other music festivals visit festivalangels.org.uk .
AT Tamworth Informed, we are proud to support the charity and community sector in and around Tamworth, and so we want to help raise awareness by introducing a new feature.Over the coming Months, we aim to make more people aware of the of great work that goes on, often behind the scenes and unnoticed – and we aim to do this through our ‘Under the Spotlight’ feature.
We are launching this feature by showcasing ‘Tamworth Street Angels’ and giving you an insight into what they do.
Tamworth Street Angels were formed over five years ago by Reverend Vic Van Den Bergh of St Francis Church, Leyfields.
Vic felt that Tamworth’s night-time economy could benefit from having a team of volunteers in the town at weekends – “to help keep people safe, to provide assistance when it is needed, to be a pair of helping hands and a pair of listening ears.”
The Tamworth project is one of approximately 130 similar groups in the UK and abroad. They are a Christian organisation which is affiliated with CNI (Christian Nightlife Initiative), set up by Paul Blakey MBE Halifaxax over ten years ago.
Volunteers come from all faiths or none and are encouraged to have fun when they are out and about. Current volunteers range in age from 20 to 60+ and are out in all weathers in their high-viz orange jackets emblazoned with Tamworth Street Angels so they are easily spotted!
Each team carries a first aid kit, a Townsafe radio (linked to CCTV), bottles of water, flip flops for those who have taken off their high heels and a range of other items that might come in useful!
Their presence in Tamworth Town Centre has been welcomed and applauded, not only by the weekend revellers and door staff but also by the Police and Ambulance Service, who appreciate the help given to relieve some of the pressures facing them at particularly busy times.
They say that their aim is to continue to provide support to all those involved in Tamworth’s night-time economy for many years to come.
If you would like to find out more about volunteering with Tamworth Street Angel, you can visit their Facebook page here.
Scarborough Street Angels are into their Tenth year of being on the Streets of Scarborough although we first started our training in 2008.
To celebrate our Tenth year one of our Street Angels Steve Barr came to me October last year suggesting he wanted to do a Tandem Skydive to raise funds for the work of the Angels our Street, Community and Youth Angels. At the time I said to Steve let’s plan it for our tenth anniversary of Street Angels, we decided we would try and get three of the Angels to jump to represent the three Angel groups, I was very quick to say I would do it with Steve, and then realised what I said, we then approached the Youth Angels and I heard that Jon Begin one of the Youth leaders wanted to do it, so I approached Jon and he was very much up for it, not so sure about his wife Stacey.
We then got the wheels in motion, so after Christmas John raised a gofundme page for our Skydive, we printed of some sponsorship forms to hand out as well and I phoned Sky dive GB parachute Jump centre at East Leys Farm, Grindale Bridlington, so the deposit paid and date was set for 23rd March arrival time 7:30.
We arrived on the day at about 7:15 the weather was lovely slight early morning haze not much wind and the sun shining, whilst filling in forms we asked at what time would the flight be thinking about 10 am he said you could be airborne in 40 minutes, it was a quick call to our wives and family members as they wanted to watch and support us, they arrived just before our walk to the aircraft. Safely on board and waving goodbye to our families we took off, being strapped to our Instructors, took us twenty minutes to climb to 10000 feet flying out to Scarborough and back to Bridlington over the drop zone, I was really excited as was Steve and Jon, I was to be the first one out, a tap on the shoulder and the door open we edged toward the edge of the aircraft, next we were free falling at 120 mph falling from 10000 feet to 5000 feet in just 30 seconds, Amazing and what a sight, the main chute opened and we slowed up from 120mph to 20mph that’s why it looks like you’re going upwards, we then had 5 minutes under the chute enjoying the view, such peace, and even having a go at controlling the chute and doing a few turns, Wow! Into land we came, Safe and sound! We all enjoyed it, even our families enjoyed the day!
A big thank you to all who have sponsored us, although the sponsor money is still coming in we think we may have raised over £1200:00 for the work of the Angels.
We continue to look at celebrating the work of the Angels by having a charity evening in September, watch this space.
(Seychelles News Agency) - A volunteer group of after-dark pastors who work with the less fortunate said more love and understanding are needed to prevent people who abuse drugs from living transient and homeless lifestyles.
Seychelles’ Night Pastors, a volunteer Christian group, has been concentrating their work night ministry and providing basic necessities in the capital city of Victoria.
The group was founded four years ago and is an initiative of the Anglican Church of Seychelles and Victoria Howard, a UK-based Seychellois. Howard founded a similar organisation in west Cornwall, United Kingdom.
“Ministry of the night or street pastors are found all over the UK, Europe, Australia and even in Africa, in Nigeria to be precise,” explained Howard, who volunteers and works a lot with the homeless in her home city in England.
Howard adds: “We basically are serving God by serving others and doing what Jesus said, clothe the naked, house the homeless. Here I have had the first experience with working with sex workers and people who due to substance abuse are homeless.”
“Sesel Paster Lannwit” as it is known in Creole not only distribute basics such as food, water and care packs but also offers prayers and counselling to women and men found on the streets of the capital city at night.
Archdeacon Danny Elizabeth, chair of the board of the group, said “We go out when it is dark. In this darkness, many things happen. Some are visible whilst others are unseen. We meet and listen to untold stories and unheard cries for help. We pray with the needy. We encourage them ‘to get up’,” said Elizabeth, who added, “our joy is when someone says I had someone who lifted me up when I was down.”
According to Howard, the sex workers are most difficult to work with compared to alcoholics and heroin addicts. “They never have time to listen as in their eyes, they are working, but nevertheless we do approach them and give them hygienic packs,” explained Howard.
Sonia (not her real name) is one person whose life has turned around since her encounter with the local night pastors last year.
“When I met the group, I was on the streets and had been involved in sex work before. I found myself on the street after a family member abandoned me. The group helped me to let go of my bitterness since my relative was no longer alive,” explained Sonia - currently in employment - who said she was very appreciative of Paster Lannwit’s counselling and prayers.
Howard, whose expertise has helped to create the group, is the daughter of Archdeacon Charles Roach, who worked with the Seychelles Anglican Diocese from 1951 to 1955.
Named after the capital city of the Seychelles – a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, Victoria Howard visits every year and participates actively in the night ministries which are held from 10 p.m to 2 a.m.
“Since we started we have been working in town, but in the future, we want to decentralize our mission and work in other districts especially those bordering with Victoria,” said Howard.
Howard said that Seychelles’ Night Pastors currently has 50-plus members from both the Catholic and Anglican Churches. In the future, with the donation of a car, the charity hopes to transport the homeless to the night shelter or even if there is the need, to the shelter for abused women.
The group has also welcomed the ban on the sale of alcohol in Market Street, which is a hot spot in the capital city.
Elizabeth said that Seychelles Night Pastors' vision is that “more people of faith can step out of their comfort zone and help the needy in the community.”
Those who have made a difference to the community were honoured at the Macclesfield Civic Awards.
Thirteen winners were announced across 12 categories at a ceremony at Macclesfield Town Hall, on Sunday, April 7, hosted by mayor Adam Schofield.
The awards, run by Macclesfield Town Council, are now in their fourth year and recognise members of the community for their commitment and dedication to making the town a better place to live.
The mayor’s award went to Pip Mosscrop for his work with Hope Centre in North East Cheshire, based in Park Green,
He also volunteers for Street Angels, very WHAM and Refugees Welcome.
Mr Mosscrop was a founding member of Cre8 and co-ordinates the work of Drop In, ROAR, Silklife Foodbank and Cheshire Streetwise with Hope.
MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, Debbie Abrahams, has been out and about with the Oldham Street Angels to see first hand, how they offer support to people enjoying a night out in the town centre.
Debbie said, “Anyone who’s regularly out enjoying life in Oldham town centre at night will have seen the angels lending a helping hand where it’s needed, including to rough sleepers, and will know how popular they are with everyone they meet.
The goodwill and camaraderie they spread everywhere they go is a joy to be seen and I can’t praise them highly enough for the work they do."
The Reverend Canon, Jean Hurlston, who is Borough Dean of Oldham, Associate Vicar at Oldham Parish Church and set up the Oldham Street Angels in 2011 said, “It was great to have Debbie as an honorary member of the team, listening to us explain what we do, why we do it, and then actually walking the talk with the team.
The street angel volunteers come from all walks of life, from all faiths and none, but we all have the same desire to make Oldham best it can be.”
Anyone who would like to join the angels team can contact them via the Oldham Street Angels FaceBook page.
Guildford’s new town centre chaplain, the Rev’d Noelle Coe, has been in post for 100 days. Here she explains her role, the main issues being faced, what excites her about the job and how people can support the work it does.
You head up the Town Centre Chaplaincy, what does it do?
The chaplaincy has been established for 10 years and is supported by churches, businesses and individuals from the Guildford area. With over 130 fabulous volunteers we run three projects designed to offer care and compassion to the vulnerable in the town – whether they are at work, rest or play.
Our much-loved Street Angels project has helped 50,000 people in his first decade of operation, providing a calming presence on the town’s streets, between 11pm and 4am, every Friday and Saturday night.
Our much newer project, Community Angels, tackles the growing problem of loneliness, these Angels befriend and reconnect the most isolated across the town.
Finally, our Volunteer Chaplains provide a friendly independent listening ear within the workplace, working alongside retailers and other employers, where it is needed. We are particularly proud that our work has been recognised by being presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for Charities!
What is the role of the Town Chaplain?
I am effectively the chief executive officer of the charity, responsible for two part-time staff and our precious team of volunteers.
More interestingly, I have the privilege of enabling others to serve some of the neediest people of Guildford. I'm humbled to see our fabulous volunteers committing themselves to go out into our community to give support and blessing.
Our town centre is special. On the surface, it is a wealthy beautiful place. However, its lovely facades also conceal considerable problems after dark and behind closed doors. I am proud to have the opportunity to contribute to making Guildford a safer and more caring place for those who work, rest or play here.
What is your background?
I’m originally from Surrey. I’m ordained and I have served in a variety of parishes ranging from St Martin’s in the Bull Ring in central Birmingham and outer city estates, to my current village church in Newdigate.
I’ve also worked for the civil service, local government and National Express coaches, so along the way I have gained valuable experience in both the community and commercial worlds.
I’m married to Andrew the team rector of the Surrey Weald team and have three grown-up children which still keeps me busy. I love to read, go to the theatre, cook savoury food (my cakes often resemble biscuits!) walk, preferably on routes with tea shops.
Has the town centre changed during the 10 years that the Street Angels have been working in the town?
Guildford experiences issues in common with other busy towns with a vibrant night life. There are still issues around drunkenness, homelessness, drugs and antisocial behaviour, but the real tensions that existed when we first started our friendly patrols has largely reduced.
Police figures have shown that in the first three months of operation alone, antisocial behaviour reduced by 29% which is a stunning result.
I am of course anxious about the growth of knife crime across the country. Personally, I would not be unhappy to see the return of properly administered stop and search. If there is nothing to hide, then this is a small inconvenience compared to the dangers of concealed knifes.
In practical ways our Street Angels role has not changed hugely, nor have the issues that we face. We still hand out lollipops and flipflops for sore feet, offer mobile phone chargers and foil blankets to protect against hypothermia.
Perhaps our most valued service is the non-judgemental listening ear, signposting people to other sources of help and simply making sure everyone gets home safely.
Many of the people we help are young adults, students away from home for the first time, we aim to be there for them. Over the years we have learnt a lot and I am humbled that many of our volunteers have been serving others, whatever the weather, for many years.
Street Angels pick up some 5,000 bottles and glasses every year, reducing litter, but also reducing the risk of these items being used as weapons, so enhancing the environment for everyone and again helping keep people safe.
Working with other organisations, the Street Angels have contributed to Guildford being the only town in Surrey to have been awarded the prestigious Purple Flag, a national accreditation scheme which recognises excellent management of city centres at night, and is backed by the government, police and business.
Towns and cities that have been awarded the Purple Flag have shown that by encouraging a wide range of people into the centre at night, the rate of anti-social behaviour lowers.
What are the main issues facing Guildford town centre today?
It’s a challenging time for the vulnerable in our locality. We have seen huge demand for home visits from our Community Angels over the last year reflecting a nationwide increase in feelings of insecurity in people of all ages.
Our volunteer Angels seek to reassure, befriend, and re-engage people with their community, to enable them to live a full life.
We are seeing more people with mental health issues and other complex problems. Our trained volunteers operate in close collaboration with the police and other agencies to ensure that the vulnerable are supported in appropriate ways.
After your first 100 days, what excites you most about your role?
I am very fortunate to be part of a great team of people who are fully committed to the work of the chaplaincy. We all have different talents, we work together, have fun getting involved in community or fundraising events and look to resolve difficult situations through generosity of blessings and compassion.
I have met many local leaders in my first 100 days and am so encouraged that the people I have met so far celebrate and value our passion and vision. I look forward to getting to know and collaborating with other church, civic and community organisations.
Working in partnership, we have the means to continue to support the community of Guildford by tackling social isolation and vulnerable people within it, in a non-judgemental way. I have also learnt that drinking cups of tea and listening to people is incredibly important alongside all that we do.
How can people help support your work?
There are three main ways people can support our work.
Firstly, you can volunteer to join our team as a Street Angel, a Community Angel or consider supporting us at a special event – maybe you have specialist skills, we are currently looking for a volunteer treasurer!
Secondly, you can support us financially, the chaplaincy costs some £85k per year to run, we would love to hear from local businesses who would be keen to sponsor us or from individuals who are able to support us by regular gifting.
Thirdly, we are an ecumenical charity with a Christian ethos, we value prayer support from churches across the area, additional ‘pray-ers’ always welcome.
Visit our website for more details or contact me via the website. I would love to meet more people from the area who care about our town and its people.
Donate to the work of CNI Network here
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