Teams of volunteers who were recruited to help patrol the streets of Manchester following the death of 17-year-old Adam Pickup in December 2013 are heading out for the first time on Friday 14th November.
Adam went missing following a night out with friends in Manchester City Centre on December the 28th. His body was found on wasteland near to Deansgate Station two days later. Thousands of people joined the search for Adam using social media, and in the aftermath a campaign was set up by Manchester Radio Station KEY 103 to recruit teams of volunteers to help make Manchester safer.
The Street Angels project was first founded by Paul Blakey MBE in Halifax in November 2005, in response to violence in the night time economy. They are teams of volunteers who patrol nightlife hotspots, assisting those in need, providing first aid, helping to diffuse conflict situations, as well as handing out flip flops and bottles of water.
Paul said, “The problem with Manchester is that it is such a big city, we simply struggled with volunteer numbers. It is fantastic that the Manchester Street Angels will be taking flight after months of training, fundraising and preparing. The Manchester team are joining a nationwide family of over one hundred and twenty similar projects that are contributing to year on year reductions in alcohol related violence and A&E admissions. The volunteers in Manchester will help those who are or could become vulnerable whilst on a night out and this, along with awareness raising around safer nights out, will help make Manchester an even better place to be at night. Well done and thank you to all who have volunteered to be part of this project."
Adam's father Chris and mother Chantal Pickup have been monitoring the Manchester Street Angels Project closely. Chris said, “It was really incredible to see how the local community came together to help when Adam was missing and subsequently after we found he had died. To know it didn't stop there, but has galvanised people into wanting to be involved in this project, is wonderful. Who knows how different things may have been had there been Angels on the streets on the 28th December”.
A team of at least 20 volunteers have now received First Aid and Conflict Awareness Training and the first groups will begin patrols on Friday 14th November in the Deansgate and Deansgate Lock areas.
Chair of Manchester Street Angels, and volunteer, Rachel Goddard said, “I was originally involved in a group who wanted to see something put in place to make Manchester safer, following a number of young deaths after nights out in the City Centre. When I heard that KEY 103 were launching a recruitment drive I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to work together to achieve our goal. It's exciting that that day is finally here and we can now act as an extra set of eyes and ears in making the City Centre safer.”
Manchester Street Angels is a registered Charity with the Christian Nightlife Initiative Network. If you want to become a volunteer or simply donate visit: www.manchesterstreetangels.com