Angels head to Kendal Calling media release:
One of the North of England's largest music festivals is looking for Angels to offer support and assistance to some of the thirty thousand festival-goers.
Kendal Calling happens annually at Lowther Deer Park just outside Penrith and this year runs from 29th July until 2nd August. For the third year teams of Christian based Festival Angels will be running Safe Hub caravans.
With acts including Stereophonics and Supergrass the Festival Angels will be on hand to offer a safe place where people can come to chat, grab a cuppa and seek help and advice.
Paul Blakey MBE, the founder of Street Angels and Christian Nightlife Initiatives Network, says, "It is great once again to be heading to the fields with Festival Angels to offer a safe place at Kendal Calling. Last year our teams were able to offer assistance and help to hundreds of young people and we are looking to build the team for 2020 to offer two 24 hour safe hubs over the festival week."
To find out more or to sign up to volunteer visit festivalangels.org.uk/kendalcalling .
February’s Community Hero is Conrad Andrews. Conrad is 37 and lives in Keighley and has volunteered for Halifax Street Angels and various Festival Angels over the last 11 years.
Conrad became involved in Street Angels through his brother Damian who was a very active volunteer in Halifax.
Conrad remembers, “I worked in the night club industry and saw the damage that alcohol and illegal substances could do to people on a night out so wanted to help make a change in Halifax town centre.
“When I heard about the move to Festival Angels I wanted to help out at that and since then have volunteered at Leeds Festival, Boardmasters and Mint and are planning to be at Big Church Day Out, Wildfires, Kendal Calling, Leeds and Mint this year.”
Volunteering has helped Conrad to deal with anxiety issues and to gain team work experience. He said, “I have learnt not to be judgmental and to look beyond the initial perception and listen to and understand the issues that the person is dealing with.”
Because of his experiences of Street Angels and Festival Angels Conrad applied to volunteer at Streamside Camp and Conference Centre, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Here he worked with children from the inner-cities of Philadelphia.
“Many of the children’s parents were in prison so the children often had issues such as anger and depression. My role was that of counsellor, activity leader as well as sharing about my faith.”
Conrad volunteered at the Streamside Camp and Centre over two summers.
Conrad became a Christian in May 1998 and was baptised on the 6th June that year at Lee Mount Baptist Church, Halifax. Gradually work took over life which resulted in his faith been put on a back burner.
Conrad came back to faith in 2010 through his involvement in Street Angels and through a friends invite to an event. Conrad then started to attend All Saints’ Church in Halifax and became involved in The Gathering Place, a project that runs the Food and Support Drop-In and offers support to those who are homeless and those wanting to overcome addiction. Conrad volunteered as the caretaker from 2012 to 2018.
In 2018 Conrad attended University for a course on TV Production and was invited to start a Christian Union, which he ran for a year. This involved outreach on campus from ‘text for a toastie’ to raising money for charity.
Conrad added, “Doing Festival Angels I have dealt with several issues, mainly because of over indulgence on drink or drugs.
“One year we could see a spike in drug use at the festivals and the following year the issue has moved to alcohol not drugs.
“Once you help someone you see what a difference it makes and how thankful people helped are that someone cares.”
“A simple act such as helping put up a tent or sitting chatting over a coffee in the Prayer Cafe shows that people are valued enough to spend that moment with them.”
Conrad shared that the most memorable moments for him were in Lost Property at Leeds Festival.
“One guy had a wallet handed in with £200 in cash. The joy on his face when he was reunited with the wallet and cash was great to see and the man said that it had helped restore his faith in humanity and people.”
Conrad highly recommends getting out and volunteering as it opens up a whole new world that may even take you to America!
For more information on Festival Angels visit festivalangels.org.uk or search Festival Angels on Facebook and Twitter.
A NEW monthly feature is shining a spotlight on some of the district’s heroes who regularly and selflessly offer their time to ensure others feel wanted, safe and very much valued.
Craven has a thriving network of volunteers and community groups who go the extra mile on a regular basis and we are endeavouring to highlight the work some of these people do.
Salt of the Earth, in partnership with North Yorkshire County Council, will showcase the unstinting efforts people go to in their everyday lives to make someone else’s life that bit better.
One such community hero is Glennis Hobbs, of Embsay.
Glennis, 73, a retired Methodist preacher, has dedicated much of her life to helping others and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
As well as conducting pastoral visits to people in her village she, amongst other things, volunteers at her local library, officiates at the Hot Chocolate Club for eight to 11-year-olds each Friday at Embsay Methodist Church and was instrumental in setting up a weekly playgroup for mums and children in Hetton.
Another string to Glennis’ bow has been her involvement with Skipton Street Angels; a group organised through Churches Together to offer reassurance and help to people in Skipton each Saturday night.
The Street Angels celebrated its 10th anniversary last year and operates under the motto ‘helping people keep safe at night’.
Glennis said:”I enjoy volunteering and helping, though I am far from alone. There are many people in the district who happily give their time for all sorts of reasons and to many different organisations.
“Being a part of Skipton Street Angels has been particularly enjoyable, though I only go along perhaps once a month these days as I get older.
“We meet at St Andrew’s Church at 9pm and patrol the town until around 1am. We can cover quite a distance but really the only requirements to become part of the group are the ability to walk slowly and the ability to eat cake. Someone always brings cake,” she said.
She added: “Ideally we go out in two groups of three, with at least one man in each group, though on the last occasion I went out there were only five of us.
“Sometimes there are too few and we can’t patrol. We are always on the look out for more people to join us, from all walks of life and of all ages.
“We walk around the town, keeping an eye out for people and often pick up glasses and bottles - up to 1,500 each year - so people don’t injure themselves on them and to stop them being used as weapons.
“On occasion we stop to help someone who appears to be worse for wear. We carry a foil blanket to keep them warm if they are unwell, as well as sick bags and mop-up kits.
“We will guide people to taxis and ring for an ambulance if someone has been injured. On occasion we have had to ring for the police.
“The police in turn have told us they appreciate our presence and stop and have a word when they see us.
“Many of the young ones we see out and about also make a point of shouting hello to us when they see our high-vis jackets and we know that our presence often helps to diffuse certain situations before they get out of hand.
“One memorable occasion when we helped someone was one evening seeing a young man zig-zagging along the canal towpath.
“We approached him to have a word and he said he had no idea where he was. We feared he would end up in the canal so walked with him towards Skipton hospital where he was able to then find his way home.
“We have seen people worse for wear at the bus station after a night out and helped them get a taxi and on other occasions people have come up to us and told us we helped save their life. We are there to help anyone who may be in need.”
Details of what Skipton Street Angels does can be found on the website: www.skiptonchurches.org.uk/streetangels/streetangels/
They can also be found on Twitter at: @AngelsSkipton
Salt of the Earth is a partnership between North Yorkshire County Council and the Craven Herald to celebrate acts of kindness across our communities.
Welcome to 2020! As we look back on 2019 we want to say a massive thank you to every single person within the CNI Network family. Together we have become world-changers for communities and people as we give of who we are to invest in others. Our prayer and vision of #MakingCityStreetsLikeNewAgain becomes a reality each and every weekend and we are privileged to be able to support, resource, equip and celebrate all that happens!
As we look back over 2019 we have seen some of our local projects develop the work they do to meet other local needs as well as those who have stopped working due to a change in the night-time economy of the local area. We have seen 2 of our coordinators honored with a British Empire Medal - Andy Burns and Pip Moscropp. CNI Network produced a Lent Prayer Guide and to help equip people in 2020 a 30days Prayer and Action Guide. We responded to the increase in attempted suicides in several areas where our projects run with Loved images and messages. We have celebrated with several local projects in milestone years and joined teams on patrol. CNI Network and our local projects have featured in local, regional and national media helping tell our and God's story to a wide audience. We supported several church communities in Yorkshire with 'Jesus Loves Yorkshire' branding during the Tour de Yorkshire. We increased the number of Festival Angels teams from six to sixteen with CNI Network either running or supporting teams at music festival events - we see that Festivals are the biggest mission field of today! Our CEO Paul spoke to many groups about our work encouraging people to support and volunteer - Paul and Jean also spoke at several church gatherings in America. #FaithAndPoliceTogether held a conference with over 90 Police from across the UK attending to develop ways they work with faith communities. We supported Purple Flag month and heard that Boro Angels heard back from a young man who was alive because of intervention from the team in June.
This is a snapshot of all that CNI Network and its family of local projects get up to!
We wish you a great 2020 that is filled with purpose and enlarged vision as we seek to demonstrate God's Kingdom as a reality for people and communities.
God bless, Paul and Jean - CNI Network.
A volunteer organisation is out again this Christmas and New Year's looking after you on a night out.
The Barrow Street Angels are set and ready to hit the streets for the festive period to make sure members of the public get home safely.
This year they are hoping to get a base to take in vulnerable people from the cold, and they are appealing to business owners on Cavendish Street.
They have been dedicated to providing support and care to party goers out on the town in the early hours of the weekend for more than two years now.
The team meet around midnight every Saturday before they head out to dish out lollipops, flip-flops, and bottles of water.
Sophie Carnaby, coordinator of the Street Angels said: “We are here to help reduce the pressure on NHS staff and the police, these are the main reasons we exist.
“We help people to decide if they should ring for an ambulance or not. I have had people burping too much thinking they should, and someone with ligaments in their hand showing who thought they shouldn’t.
“We generally have teams of three: a man, a woman, and a first aider.
“We try to stop anti-social behaviour after people drink too much and use lollipops to help defuse situations that may end up in a fight.
“We also give out bottles of water and flip-flops so girls do not cut their feet walking barefoot after taking their heels off.
“We give out up to 60 bottles of water and 60 pairs of flip-flops, as well as up to 200 lollipops on a Saturday.
“We are always looking for more volunteers, so if people are interested they can contact us on Facebook.
“What I would like is for us to have a premises on Cavendish Street that we can use.
“At this time of year I would not want to add hypothermia to a medical situation.
“I call upon property owners on that street to offer this to us.”
Sophie went on to say: “I am very grateful to those who give up their time around Christmas to volunteer with us each weekend. They are great
“I would like to thank them for their service over the last two years.”
This service does provide great first aid and advice for people who are on a night out, which is especially poignant during Christmas time. This helps relieve pressure on emergency services in Barrow.
Inspector Jim Bailey said: “Anybody who volunteers to contribute to the community and helps make it better is doing a great thing.
“They are coming together in their own time, to contribute out of their own goodwill to make sure people in Barrow have a safe night out.
“From a police perspective, this is a perfect example of how we work with other partners, including in our Local Focus Hubs.
“We work very closely with them and we support them at any opportunity we can."
Barrow operations manager for North West Ambulance Service, Lisa Richie, said: “Any support offered to vulnerable people this time of year is welcome and we thank the Street Angels for the work that they do.
“As many people are out and about in the town centre on weekend evenings, particularly after consuming alcohol, they are more likely to become vulnerable.
"By volunteers offering support in the community they can help avoid the need for emergency services.
“We urge partygoers to enjoy their nights out sensibly this Christmas - know your limits, plan your route home and stay with friends.”
Advice on how to keep safe when out this can be found on: www.cninetwork.org/safenightout-party
An inspirational new Prayer and Action Guide has been produced by CNI (Christian Nightlife Initiatives) Network and several of its local projects and partner organisations.
The Guide is based on the work of local Street Angels, Club Angels and Festival Angels who see how prayer and action can and does change communities and people. The 30 day Guide was produced to help people pray for 'God's Kingdom to come, God's will to be done' and provide some tools and ideas to help people become part of making that prayer a reality.
Founder and CEO of CNI Network, Paul Blakey MBE, says, "The 30days Prayer and Action Guide is written with insight from those who are part of amazing volunteer teams and partner organisations making a difference within communities across the UK and around the world. Those who have contributed have seen first hand how prayer and action brings about change from reduction in violent crime to offering life saving help and support. As CNI Network we believe that our faith needs to be lived out and the amazing message that God loves people and is for people made known by what we say and what we do. We hope that many will take time over 30 days to reflect and pray on the thoughts and Bible verses and then commit to the suggested action."
The free 30days Guide can be found at cninetwork.org/30days .
Oscar Wilde said "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery". Since we started Street Angels in 2005 and CNI (Christian Nightlife Initiatives) Network in 2008 we have supported, helped and resourced around 150 local projects to start. We have worked locally, regionally, nationally and internationally to set up projects that are: professional; adhere to various guidelines; offered support; celebrated for all they do and as such are held in high esteem as examples of outstanding community and voluntary action.
Sadly there are an increasing number of groups who are setting up Street Angels projects outside of the support, guidelines, legality and advice CNI Network offers. Whilst we are not precious about the name we are precious about the reputation and professionalism that every project that is part of CNI Network upholds.
Only those projects, including Street Angels, listed on cninetwork.org/projects are linked to CNI Network and as such will be operating within a high professional standard. Projects who may well use the branding and/or name not listed on our website are outside of the jurisdiction and support of CNI Network and as such we have no responsibility for their actions.
CNI Network, December 2019
The last Friday before Christmas saw our Street Angels teams across the UK gearing up for Mad Friday - generally one of the busiest nights of the year. Many teams were featured on local radio talking about the work they do and the SafeNightOut.party advice. The Sunday Mirror spent the night with Leeds Street Angels and will hopefully feature our work this coming Sunday. Team handed out Christmas chocolates to those we partner with including pub and club staff, Police and Ambulance staff, etc. Below are some pictures shared on social media from our local projects on Mad Friday and a Facebook Live video from Paul (CEO of CNI Network) and Katie (CNI Regional Coordinator Yorkshire and Leeds Street Angels) filmed just after midnight.
Our founder and CEO, Paul Blakey MBE, is one of the speakers at a symposium 'The Role of Faith in Healing Divided Communities' on Saturday 28th March 2020 at Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London.
The aim of the symposium is to open a discourse between faith and community groups and to develop a way forward in ensuring positive outcomes for our communities. Speakers and participants will include representatives from different faiths as well as community organisations and other stakeholders.
For more information visit www.bcsinterfaith.com
To book visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/faith-united-2020-tickets-79502438935
Donate to the work of CNI Network here
Street Angels - Christian Nightlife Initiatives Network:
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Postal Address: CNI Network, The King's Centre, Park Rd, Halifax, HX1 2TS
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