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
The latest Christmas newsletter from CNI Network:
Counter Terrorism Policing have opened up an award-winning counter terrorism training course to anyone who wants to learn how to spot the signs of suspicious behaviour and understand what to do in the event of a major incident: This is ideal for volunteers within our local projects, community groups, church leaders, etc - https://ct.highfieldelearning.com
Pip Moscrop, one of the founders and coordinator of Street Angels Macclesfield, was awarded a British Empire Medal in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours. On behalf of CNI Network we sent congratulations for this truly deserved honour and asked Pip a few questions...
First of all congratulations on a highly deserved honour! Tell us some more about how you found out and received your Honour:
I was amazed and delighted to learn that I had been awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the community in Macclesfield in the Queen's Birthday Honours List; it was totally unexpected! This was presented at an investiture by the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs, at Tatton Hall, a stately home in Knutsford, in November (see the picture below).
You have given and invested a tremendous amount for the community of Macclesfield and Street Angels isn't the only initiative you are involved in - tell us about other projects you are working with:
I have been involved with the Churches and what they do together in Macclesfield for fifteen years as the Co-ordinator of Hope in North East Cheshire - thirty-nine Churches working together in mission in our communities. I became Chair until 2017, of one of the Hope charities, Cre8 Macclesfield, a youth and community programme, based in the Moss Rose estate, one of the most disadvantaged in Macclesfield.
As Hope built relationships with the authorities, and the Church Leaders and those in the Churches worked more closely together, there was growing recognition that much could be done through social action. In 2012, with the invaluable help of Paul Blakey and Christian Nightlife Initiatives, we established Street Angels Macclesfield which is highly regarded by the authorities and has not missed a Saturday evening in seven and a half years. Hope's winter weekend nightshelter, WHAM (Winter Homeless Accommodation in Macclesfield!) was implemented in the winter of 2014/15.
Hope in North East Cheshire is an innovative and growing ministry - what is your latest project?
We are blessed to have so many committed Church Leaders who meet regularly, strengthening their personal relationships and discussing what the 4,000 or so people who attend the Churches could do together. The most recent social action initiatives are Macclesfield Community Kitchen and Project Grow, an integrated surplus (free!) food collection and distribution service, implemented by Cre8 Macclesfield!
Well done and thank you on behalf of the wider CNI Network family Pip Moscrop BEM for all you have done and will do in the future with the church community towards making Macclesfield a better place to live, work and socialise. Any final comments?
My wonderful award is recognition of this amazing journey and all those who have contributed to it!
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