Street Angels heaven-sent for casualties of messtivities
Santa’s big helpers were kept busy on Black Eye Friday.
Street Angels were on patrol to help stricken revellers including a young man who collapsed unable to speak.
His worried friend said: “We bought pills from some guy – it’s gone wrong.”
They wrapped the man in foil and gave first aid until paramedics took over.
Street Angels volunteers ease the strain on the NHS on one of the busiest nights of the year for drink-related injuries.
Stuart Robertshaw, one of the eight on patrol in Leeds, West Yorks, said: “That was distressing. He’d smashed his head on the pavement then his condition worsened as the drugs took hold.”
There are over 130 Street Angels projects in the UK, part of the Christian Nightlife Initiative founded by Paul and Jean Blakey.
Volunteers are first-aiders and partner with door staff, local authorities and NHS to create a “safety network”, staying in touch via radio.
The NHS has also spent £300,000 on drunk tanks this year to ease pressure on A&Es and the Sunday People joined a unit in Birmingham.
The first reveller to get treatment was a man in his 30s who fell and cracked his head open in a club opposite. As he was treated, his friends began shouting at staff. Mike Duggan, operations manager of the treatment unit on Broad Street, said:
”We get verbal and physical abuse.”
Back in Leeds, Street Angels were helping a man in his 50s who thought his drink was spiked. Bouncer Bernard Armstrong, 45, said: “He’s been vomiting and doesn’t know how to get home. I can’t spend time dealing with this so the Street Angels are a godsend.”
Project coordinator Katie Waters, 34, calms the man and gets him into a taxi.
Flagging women in heels gratefully accept flip-flops the Angels hand out. In some cities, they get through 2,000 pairs in six months.
When the streets are finally quiet at around 3.30am, the team call it a night.
Katie says: “It’s satisfying to know you’ve helped people have a great time.”