Volunteers across the UK are gearing up for Christmas street patrols with an aim to helping people have a SafeNightOut.party this festive season.
Teams of Street Angels and Club Angels will be out and about in over 100 towns and cities across the UK as the Christmas party season gets underway.
The high-vis wearing teams will have rucksacks with various items including flip-flops and plasters for blistered feet, lollipops that help prevent aggression and noise, bottles of water to rehydrate people and foil blankets to stop people suffering the effects of hypothermia. The teams will also be on hand to help people relocate friends, give directions to the next pub or club and locate a taxi or Uber to get people home safely.
Paul Blakey MBE, who founded Street Angels in November 2005 and now heads up CNI (Christian Nightlife Initiatives) Network, says, "December is one of the busiest times of the year as people head out on works night-outs or for a catch up with friends. Many of the people we see in December only go out on the town late at night once or twice a year and our volunteer teams will be on hand to help ensure people have a fun and safe night."
The teams will also be sharing SafeNightOut.party advice on social media to act as a reminder to people to take care of themselves and friends. This advice includes:
Ladies - carry a pair of slip-on shoes in your handbag so that when your high-heels are no longer comfortable you don't need to walk bare-foot.
Always stay with your friends, don’t go off alone, have their contact information on you somewhere other than your phone and over a big dinner before hand try to think about your drinking limits for the night and stick to them!
Always eat before a night out – never drink on an empty stomach. Get a takeaway before you go home - don't start cooking once you get home especially in a chip pan!
Know what you are drinking so you can know how much you have had. This will also help you and your friends know if you have been spiked because you have kept account of your alcohol intake. Mix alcohol with soft drinks or water and don't leave your drink unattended.
Pick a venue that's right for you – if you feel out of place, leave! Most fights start over something minor – someone knocks you, spill your drink – apologise! Don’t get involved in breaking up a fight – that’s the job of the door-staff! Someone pestering you – try and ignore them and if that doesn’t work ask the bar or door staff to help you. Look out for your friends – make sure they are safe.
Keep your taxi money in another part of your handbag/wallet so you don’t spend it. Always sit in the back of a taxi if you’re travelling by yourself. Take a photo of your taxi drivers ID and text it to a friend.
For more information on the work of Street and Club Angels visit the CNI Network website at www.cninetwork.org
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Street Angels in Leeds assisting a young lady to a taxi after a night-out last Christmas