Club Angels - who we are & what we do:
Club Angels began in December 2011 when a bunch of us felt nudged by God to share His love in the clubs of Leeds city – centre. We have kept the project as simple as the day it started – with the motto ‘Love the person in front of you,’ behind all we do.
As teams we meet to pray, and go into the clubs we are working with, wearing t-shirts that say ‘chat, help, listen and care, p.s. we’re Christians, ask us more if you want.’ And that is what we do.
We build relationships with staff, encourage them, support them, and over time we’ve become an integral part of staff teams. We chat with clubbers in the toilets, chill out or smoking areas and listen to and tell our stories. We assist with people who have become unwell or vulnerable within or just outside the club.
We spend the whole night in prayer – asking God to help us love the people in front of us. Staff have said to us that ‘When you’re here, things are different!’ We really believe that God loves the clubs and the people in the clubs enough to turn up into it – and when He does that in us, so often the atmosphere, the conversations, staff morale and clubbers’ behaviour becomes more peaceful, better to be around, and the club is a more fun place to be.
It’s not always easy – the club experience can feel overwhelming, and it doesn't take long to see or hear things that reflect a stressed out & insecure world dominated by image, competition and aggression. But with working closely with the club management and staff, and by growing in trust and love as teams, we are seeing change – in both large and small ways.
Some areas have seen Club Angels extend to Pub Angels - offering similar support in pubs. The Club Angels model can easily be adapted for pubs.
Setting up a Club Angels Team:
If you are interested in starting up a team, have a look through the following bullet points. Do get in touch at any point with firstname.lastname@example.org with any more of your questions.
Once you have explored putting the basics in place and are able to agree to the Club Angels ethos, one of the Club Angels team will be happy to come and run a training night for you.
If you are sensing a call into the nightclubs, definitely make time to get people together to pray. Ask churches and people if there are those who also feel a nudge into this ministry. These people may be the beginnings of your team.
It may be obvious straight away which clubs to approach – or it may take longer, so explore your context through prayer, asking questions of people where you can, or seeing if there is a particular club that appears (though media coverage or word of mouth), to need support. If you are still unsure, contact your local Pubwatch coordinator.
The Pubwatch co-ordinator: You will be able to contact your local PubWatch rep via their web site . They are responsible for promoting welfare, safety and best practice in all licensed premises in their area. They will be able to put you in touch with nightclub managers, the local policing team and any relevant others.
The Nightclub manager: This is your key meeting. This meeting is about developing a working relationship of trust and openness. You may need to explain what the concept of Club Angels is, what its aims are, and how it may be of benefit to the Club. Emphasise that you are there to support what the club already does, and offer a friendly – face of welfare and support that may sometimes fall through the net between bar staff, security staff, and management. You are there to practically help, socially care, and be part of making the club a great place to be.
Local Churches & Christians: We believe any success of this project is down to the grace of God to provide resources, energy, strength and perseverance. This can be tough work – and not only do teams need committed volunteers, they also need the prayerful support of their Christian community – not least so that if people want to explore faith further, there are those who are ready to nurture this faith.
Club Angels Ethos:
The basic resources for the project are:
If you are extending this work as part of a larger charity, project or church, it may be that it comes under an existing insurance policy. If not, you will need to find insurance for your team. Often a single person is insured for public liability insurance, (usually the team leader), and they will then have a certain number of volunteers they are able to include under that policy. Note that although you will come under the management of the club or bar in terms of good practice and health and safety, you will need you own insurance policy. CNI Network has contacts with three Insurance Companies:
Access Insurance offers a bespoke insurance package exclusive to CNI member organisations. They are a specialist charity insurance broker providing insurance and risk management solutions for over 6000 charities and ‘not for profit’ clients across the UK.
The insurance has been carefully selected to meet the requirements of CNI Projects. The basic cover includes Public Liability at £5M and Employers Liability at £10M, with premiums starting from £159.
Optional insurance covers that can be taken out includes:
Equipment or Stock Insurance (anywhere in the British Isles)
Access is not only a Christian insurance brokerage, but also operates on social enterprise principles. For every insurance policy taken out by a member organisation, Access will make a donation to SA-CNI.
To obtain your bespoke quotation, please contact Kwame or Matt at Access on 020 8651 7420, email email@example.com. Alternatively please visit www.accessinsurance.co.uk/charity/contact should you wish to arrange a call back.
This project is a low-cost project. The t-shirts need to be printed, and after that everything else is optional. Most often teams will have business cards printed on with the logo and job description, as well as a way people may choose to follow up a conversation or faith exploration. It may be that the team wishes to give out lollies to staff, moisturiser in the female toilets,and have a stash of hair bobbles, tissues, baby-wipes etc. These are all considerations.
[Note that in some toilets there are women who sell basic products. We wish to support these women so we will not give away that which they are seeking to gain an income from selling].
You may also wish to have a pull-up banner with logo and contact details which could be placed in the club (with permission of the manager!)
A web site can be produced for free using Weebly (this web site was created using Weebly). 1&1 is a good source for cheap domain names - these can then be directed to your Weebly account or purchase a domain through Weebly. These days a Facebook page (not a profile) is essential and helps keep your project in the public eye through Status Updates which show on your followers wall. People do enjoy following pages as it helps show their support for the organisation. Twitter is another good way of sharing information and twitter feeds can appear on your web site ensuring that is kept fresh. Your information will be added to the national Club Angels web site.
We strongly recommend that your team invites a member of the Club Angels leadership team to run a training night for you. This will cover essential best practice, give insights into issues that go alongside working in the nightclub context such as drugs, alcohol, safety and crime, and offer your team the opportunity to ask any other questions they may have. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to organise this.
We recommend that you offer to work with the club on a trial basis, fortnightly or monthly for around 4 months. In this way both parties will be able to feedback and learn to work together. It also offers you the opportunity to see volunteers at work, and talk together about what their commitment may be. We suggest that each volunteer commits to serving at least once a month on team to be able to develop relationships with the staff in the club, and with each other. After this initial period, it may be you are able to eventually offer a weekly commitment.
It’s worth recognising that this can be a tough assignment and a long haul. You and your team will be building relationships from scratch – so pace yourselves! As with any other ministry, if this is the first time Christians have been inside a venue in a mission-minded way, then be prepared for some spiritual adventures - some may be incredible as you are able to pray with people, some may take all the courage you have to stand strong, others may bring you right out of your comfort zone and still others may feel dull and lifeless as you prayer walk around a busy dance floor for nights on end. Our experience has been – Keep Going – and you WILL see God at work. Make sure you celebrate all of it – the big things and the little things!.
Prepare well – have people praying for you behind the scenes, by getting a nap in if you can, good food and drinking lots of water while out serving. Be prepared for God to grow and humble and
stretch you, as much as for Him to be loving others through you.
Developing the work:
Club Angels is a relatively new project – and we are still discovering where God is leading it. Future developments will be all down to the local churches & teams as they seek to see God’s kingdom come in the people and clubs around them, and as God draws people to Him by his love. In our first year we have had the opportunity to pray with people and create a prayer space inside one of the clubs. We have been invited into partnerships across the city who work in this area, and we've become friends with those we work with. We have seen a couple of people become Christians, we are seeing others explore faith seriously, and one of our team has become a full-time worker in a club in which we serve. We've also been able to put together assemblies and presentations making young people aware of keeping themselves safe as they explore the night-life. These are small beginnings, and we are excited about the future.
There are other projects doing great things in other night-time economies across the UK. Club Angels is just another way that we believe God is using to make himself known in our nation. Come and be part of it!
Other Useful Resources:
Volunteers Handbook and relevant policies for a Street Angels project - some of this may cross over and be useful for a Club Angels project - this will need to be modified for a local project, agreed by a local project steering group and then made available for volunteers and on web sites, at the base, etc - Word document which you can copy and paste.
Some legal advice on providing first aid (though providing first aid is not the focus of Club Angels you may be asked to assist from time to time)
Some guidance on DBS checks