VOLUNTEERS are being sought to join a team of ‘Street Angels’ to help people in vulnerable situations in Malton and Norton on Friday and Saturday nights.
The scheme has been initiated by PC Jane Jones of Malton Police, and Jane Varey, from Norton, who has volunteered as a Street Angel in York.
Jane said the aim was to help keep people safe when they were enjoying a night out.
“The scheme was initiated in Halifax and has worked successfully for some time in Scarborough and York,” she said.
“Although many projects are church-led, volunteers do not have to have a Christian belief, just a desire to look after other human beings.”
Jane said the Street Angels were equipped with bottled water and even flip flops to help people struggling to get home after a night out drinking.
“We can step in to help people sober up so they can get home safely or help diffuse situations before it gets out of hand.”
Jane said initially the scheme would be run in Malton and Norton but if enough volunteers came forward they could look at extending it across Ryedale, as well as attending concerts and other events.
“As well as helping people who need assistance we also want those who want to go out for a meal or a drink in town at weekends to feel that they are safe,” she said.
PC Jones said they were looking for about 25 volunteers for the scheme.
“Full training will be given including basic first aid, personal safety and topics such as drugs and alcohol. “Volunteers will work in threes, with a mix of men and women, and as well as helping members of the public safe, will also assist the police by acting as extra eyes and ears for officers.”
Insp Andy Everitt, of Malton Police said he welcomed the presence of Street Angels in Malton and Norton on Friday and Saturday nights.
“They will provide practical support and assistance to people who may be in need of help for a number of reasons, often drink-related,” he said.
“They are there to safeguard others and will be establishing close working relationship with our licensees, door-staff, emergency services and most importantly our community who are enjoying a night out in the towns.”
Insp Everitt said a friendly face and good communication skills could often diffuse tense situations before they got out of hand.
“I am acutely aware that some people can be extremely vulnerable when out drinking in the night-time economy. This can also include making the right choices and being properly tuned into one’s own sexual health,” he said.
“Additionally, we have areas in both towns where young people gather during the evening and at night to consume alcohol in public places and again I welcome the presence of Street Angels not as an enforcement body, but as friendly faces who are purely concerned with the safety and well-being of others. It is often the case that when people are going home on foot after a night out they are at their most vulnerable.
For more information on becoming a Street Angel, phone PC Jane Jones on 101 or call at Malton Police station.