THE search is on to find volunteers to watch over Woking town centre after last orders are called.
Woking Churches has launched a recruitment campaign for a local branch of Street Angels, to provide support for vulnerable people on the town’s streets on Friday nights.
As part of a joint initiative with the Safer Woking Partnership and Surrey County Council’s Local Committee, the group hopes to prevent people doing things they might regret the next morning.
Street Angels have already been in operation in Guildford, Camberley and Staines.
According to Surrey Police, a 29% drop in public place violence has been recorded since they were introduced to Guildford town centre in October 2008.
Speaking about the new Woking recruitment drive, Rev Jonny Blair, chairman of Woking Street Angels, said: "We are looking for adults from all faiths and who are keen to make a positive difference to Woking’s night-time culture.
"In particular, we are keen to find people who are caring, non-judgemental and happy to work as part of a team, and they will need to be happy to work late on one in four Friday nights."
The initiative aims in particular to help those in need of help as a result of homelessness, drunkenness, drug abuse or violence, by listening to any problems and offering practical help and advice.
Rev Blair added: "Full training will be given to all successful applicants, they will be provided with Street Angels jackets and T-shirts and expenses will be paid for the shifts that they work.
"This is a real opportunity for local people to make a positive difference to Woking and I would like to encourage anyone who is interested to get in touch to find out more.
"Although we are looking for a minimum of 30 people, we would be very happy to accept more.
"In fact, if we attract a greater number of Angels we will be able to offer the service on Saturday nights as well as Fridays, which would be fabulous."
Provided a suitable host of Angels can be found to help out, Rev Blair, who is joint vicar of St Paul’s Church in Oriental Road, said the scheme could be in operation from late February or early March next year.
Applicants interested in becoming Street Angels have until November 8 to apply, and must be over 18.