Our CEO Paul Blakey was at the Watford Town Centre Chaplaincy / Street Angels AGM on Thursday - it was great to hear of the amazing happenings that is making a massive difference through daytime chaplaincy and nighttime Street Angels. Here are the official photos from volunteer John Williamson.
Windsor Street Angels has been ‘overwhelmed’ by the response from the public to its Amazon Wishlist – with more than 50 sleeping bags being donated.
Three weeks ago the street angels posted a link to its wishlist, which includes first aid kits, water bottles, gloves and sleeping bags.
By the end of the week the group, which supports vulnerable people across the town centre, had received more than 50 mostly new sleeping bags which were distributed immediately by the Street Angels and Windsor Homeless Project.
“We’re thrilled to have plenty of sleeping bags now for the winter months and some warm clothes and first aid refills too,” said Windsor Street Angels volunteer Alice Hunt.
Each shift the team hands out coffee, soup, sandwiches, and blankets to rough sleepers.
They also offer flip-flops, phone charging, water and sick bags to revellers as well as carrying their own first aid kits and a defibrillator.
David Bullock, Windsor Street Angels co-ordinator, said: “We have been overwhelmed at the public response to our appeal and we are very grateful to everyone who has made a donation.
“With the weather now changing the sleeping bags are becoming an essential item for those people sleeping rough and as a result of the generosity and kindness shown in response to this campaign both Windsor Street Angels and the Windsor Homeless Project now have an opportunity to distribute these items to those who need them.”
Windsor Street Angel’s night time safety hub at the Baptist church in Victoria Street is open from 10pm-3am on Friday and Saturday nights and volunteers patrol the streets assisting anyone in need of help.
Bridlington Street Angels are looking for more volunteers to help and support people in need.
They patrol around the town centre, harbour and the Spa on a Saturday, from 10pm to 2.30am, once a month.
The initiative launched in Bridlington in 2013.
Phil Gowland, Chairman of Bridlington Street Angels, said:
"Hopefully we'll have enough people to undertake a patrol every week; because usually when we go out, there's at least three people in a patrol.
So if we wanted, let's say, four patrols a month to cover most weekends, we need at least 12 people who would only do once a month.
Since we started crime levels have reduced which is fantastic.
I think when we're out on the streets, we've been able to help them get a taxi, help them find their friends if they become separated.
We also help guide people who are homeless as well."
Phil has been speaking to Yorkshire Coast Radio's Karen Liu - click here
All Street Angels volunteers have to:
Anyone who wants to become a Street Angel can call 0845 203 4510 or visit: http://bridlingtonstreetangels.weebly.com/
Paul and Jean visited Blackpool last weekend. First of all they met with Jenny and Keith from Revelation Daze who recently wrote a song and produced a video "He's Sending Angels" for Blackpool Street Angels which is available for any project to use.
They then joined the Blackpool and Fylde Street Angels steering group where they heard of the massive vision Blackpool & the Fylde Street Angels have for the future including crazy golf course, homeless and addiction outreach, Youth Angels, emergency winter shelter as well as weekly Street Angels for the night-time of the town.
They then spent a couple of hours out with the Street Angels team and visited the site of the crazy golf course where much work has been carried out as they restore the site to its former glory! Do pray for the work of the team as they grow the vision and work in Blackpool.
For the sixth year in a row, Guildford town centre has been recognised in 2019 by the Purple Flag assessors for providing evenings and nights out that are safe, vibrant and varied. It remains the only town in the county, and one of around 70 in the UK, to hold the award. Find out more from this report by That's Surrey TV's reporter Kelvin Wint including an interview with Fiona from Guildford Street Angels:
October is #MonthOfPurple, a celebration of those towns and cities who hold Purple Flag status.
An initiative of the Association of Town and City Management, Purple Flag allows members of the public to quickly identify town and city centres that offer an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out. The scheme is similar to the Green Flag for parks and Blue Flags for beaches.
Several towns and cities where CNI Network have projects have worked with Police, Local Authorities, pubs and clubs towards achieving Purple Flag status:
Bournemouth with Church for the Night, Bournemouth Town Pastors and nearby Boscombe Angels
Chester where NightChurch offers a safe and sacred space
Guildford with Guildford Street Angels out and about every weekend and Town Centre Chaplains and Community Angels offering additional support across the town.
Halifax which was one of the first smaller towns to receive Purple Flag with support from the Halifax Street Angels and a busy night safe place offered by Bus Oasis
High Wycombe where the High Wycombe Street Angels have just celebrated 10 years of operating
Leeds with Street Angels running every Friday and the last Saturday of the month
Leicester Square where Club Angels in Tiger Tiger Piccadilly offering chat, help, prayer and care to club-goers inside the club venue
Watford with night-time Street Angels and day-time Chaplains offering support across the town day and night.
The ‘after dark’ economy is worth an estimated £72bn annually to the UK, supporting thousands of businesses, employing 4.5% of the UK workforce, and significantly contributing to local economies.
October also sees one of the busiest weeks of the year as a wide variety of Halloween costumes and fake blood contribute to entertaining nights out for street and clubs teams (spot the real blood from the fake blood!) CNI Network are encouraging people to tweet and Facebook our SafeNightOut.party advice around Halloween to encourage those on the town for the night to have a safe and fun evening.
October is #MonthOfPurple where places who hold the Purple Flag status are celebrated. Several towns and cities where CNI Network have local projects are holders of Purple Flag. We asked Sarah Walker (pictured above far right with Watford Street Angels), the Programme Manager for Purple Flag and one of CNI Network's Board of Reference, a few questions on Purple Flag:
What is Purple Flag?
What benefits does a place gain by holding a Purple Flag award?
Stakeholders believe a Purple Flag can bring the following benefits:
Strong Partnership working relationships
A raised profile and an improved public image
Lower crime and anti-social behaviour
A more successful mixed-use economy
Stronger Diversification (enticing a wide and varied consumer offering)
Regeneration and Development to an area
How do Street Angels (or equivalent) contribute to a town/city receiving a Purple Flag?
They play a positive role as part of the strategic partners working within the NTE in delivering a safe town or city centre The work they provide is outstanding especially around those who are vulnerable after too much alcohol, loosing friends during the night etc.
Would you recommend projects such as Street Angels or Club Angels to a night-time economy area?
Yes we do recommend street angels etc within the Purple Flag programme under the attributes
Any words of support for our volunteer teams who work to keep our places safer?
A massive thank you, as they play such a vital role within the NTE and step in where resources have been cut or disappeared completely. Without them we would not be in the place we are now with many of our towns and cities. The cost saving to the NHS and local authorities as well is huge.
Our CEO, Paul Blakey, was at Bishopthorpe Palace, the home of the Archbishop of York, for a day looking at Spring Harvest in Harrogate. The day was hosted by the Archbishop and was attended by key church leaders from across the North of England. We looked at how Spring Harvest can celebrate and resource the church in the North. For more details on the event in 2020 see here.
Paul was interviewed on Premier Christian Radio News Hour (and repeated in news bulletins) around a survey on kindness - he chatted #Do1NiceThing, the work of volunteers, the role that Christians can play in volunteering and the need for prayer and action to go hand in hand - listen here at 50 minutes
October is #MonthOfPurple to celebrate Purple Flag and the night-time communities who hold this.
CNI Network have projects in the Purple Flag towns of Bournemouth, Chester, Guildford, Halifax, High Wycombe, Leeds, Leicester Square and Watford.
More on Purple Flag month: The annual celebration of the Purple Flag programme, which recognises excellence in the management of the evening and night-time economy (ENTE) in the UK and Ireland, will be taking place during the whole month of October 2019, starting today.
Towns and cities across the country are planning a wide-range of events to not only showcase the quality, diversity and vibrancy of their ENTE, but also to challenge the common negative, perceptions about the safety and quality of our town and city centres during the evening.
The ‘after dark’ economy is worth an estimated £72bn annually to the UK, supporting thousands of businesses, employing 4.5% of the UK workforce, and significantly contributing to local economies. This series of events through October intends to capture people’s imaginations, change perceptions and encourage people to do something different with their evening in a variety of locations.
The final Festival Angels team of 2019 were at Mint Festival at East Leeds Airport in Church Fenton. Working with Simon Biddlestone, the curate of the local Anglican church, the team offered detached teams who wandered round the site offering help and support to the 15,000 festival goers. Here are a few pictures from the day...
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