Street Angels, the flagship project of Guildford Town Centre Chaplaincy – is now 5 years old. The Street Angels first went out on the streets of the town on Friday 17th October 2008 and last Saturday they marked their 5th birthday with a celebration. Over 100 people gathered at St Saviour’s Church to witness the commissioning of the latest group of Street Angels, one of whom was quickly drafted in to fill a gap on the team heading out that night.
Guests included Diana Lockyer-Nibbs, Mayor of Guildford; Lesley Myles, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Surrey; and Helen Collins, District Commander for Western Division of Surrey Police. The work of Street Angels was affirmed by all three speakers Helen Collins remarking that Street Angels need the police but, equally, the police need Street Angels and that they work in partnership.
Entertainment on the night was provided by a modern and a traditional jazz band, an Irish folk singer and a rhythm and blues musician.
Five years ago Street Angels, volunteers mainly from the many churches in the area, went out on Friday nights only and Guildford Town Centre was quite a different place at night compared with now. Now Street Angels cover Friday and Saturday nights each week plus some midweek nights such as A-Level results night. They have made a real difference in Guildford and are generally recognised as friendly faces who will help out when needed – and who carry an endless supply of lollies!
There are currently some 75 Street Angels in Guildford who commit to spending one night a month from 10.30 pm until 4.00 am trying to ensure people are safe regardless of whether they are homeless or young people out enjoying the many leisure facilities the town offers. They aim to get them home safely, especially if they become vulnerable, which can happen for a variety of reasons, not just the over-consumption of alcohol.
They are always looking for more volunteers who would like to be involved. If you are interested to know more, please visit the website, www.gtcc.org.uk or contact the Street Angels co-ordinator, Lin Haynes on 07717 876853 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.