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Hull’s Street Angels have taken it one step further in their mission to keep Hull safe on the weekend.
Once again proving that all heroes don’t wear capes, the group of volunteers, who are usually donned in fluorescent clothing and can be seen carrying an array of flip flops, have purchased their very own bus with enough facilities to take care of those in need on a Friday and Saturday night.
The team, made up of over 20 volunteers, are on the streets every weekend helping those who are worse for wear and in need of a helping hand, as well as alleviating pressure on our already strained emergency services.
Gaynor Bonner, a volunteer with the group, said the idea for the bus – which is equipped with benches, first aid kits, bowls, flip flops, hot water and tea and coffee – came when they visited Blackpool and the Street Angels there.
The teams swapped ideas and Hull’s then went and bought the former Social Services bus and put their own stamp on it.
Gaynor said: “The bus is a safer and quieter area and is a calm zone. We get people who need help, some who have mental health issues, and other vulnerable people, people with minor injuries.
“With the bus, people can see where we are. We have bottles of water, bowls and we can have a sit down with them and make them a cup of tea.”
The Street Angels have been fundraising with backpacking and tombola to afford the bus, and Gaynor says people can also give small donations for the flip flops.
She said: “We buy those and the bowls and everything from our own pockets and people give donations too.”
The group work every Friday and Saturday, as well as Bank Holiday Sundays and are hoping to get more volunteers so they can have two pairs out on the street, and a pair on the bus.
Gaynor said: “Anyone who wants to join can do so and can even come and do a shadow shift with us.”
As well as the bus, the group are active on social media and have been giving out cards for people in case they are in need of help.
Gaynor said: “We have cards that we have given to taxi drivers and have gone to Sixth Forms and given them out there. The cards have our number on it so if anyone needs us we can help, say if someone is being harassed or if they’ve lost their friends we can go and find and help them – even if they are on a toilet floor somewhere.”
Gaynor said the group also have a rapport with emergency services and door staff at Hull’s pubs and clubs.
She said: “Because we give out shoes to save the girl’s feet it means they’re not suffering with the minor injuries they have from walking about on glass which is sometimes outside.
"A lot of us are nurses or ex-nurses so are able to provide first aid, and then we have first aid training and also conflict resolution training which is all offered when you volunteer.
“A lot of people see people in these situations and immediately call 999 when we can help and we can take people to the bus, take care of them and they can call someone if they need to and we make sure they are safe.
“We have a good rapport with the police and ambulance service and the door staff. The Street Angels I think started out in New York and the subway and started in Britain in either Halifax or Huddersfield. We started under a year ago and the things we’ve achieved so far are amazing.
“We are looking for more volunteers and encourage people to come and do a shadow shift with us.”
You can get in touch with the group on their Facebook and Twitter page. You can also visit their website here.
To call them, their number is 07494420622.
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