Following a successful funding application to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, this year’s newly trained Woking Street Angels now have smart polo shirts to wear when they are on duty during the summer. By wearing these shirts, Street Angels helping on the streets of our town will be easily identifiable when it is too hot to wear their hi-vis jackets.
Members of Woking Street Angels met with David Munro, Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner, to thank him for the funding. David Munro said: “I am delighted to present these shirts to Woking Street Angel's new recruits. I am proud to support the fantastic work of the Angels, and this will enhance their visibility even further in support of safer weekend nights in Woking."
The University of Surrey has given a welcome boost to Guildford’s Street Angels as they launch a collaboration to support the well-being of young people in the town.
Lisa Dimbylow, the University’s Public Engagement Manager, presented Rev Noelle Coe, the Town Chaplain, with a massive cheque for £2000 to support the work of the charity.
Noelle thanked the University for their support adding: “The Chaplaincy is thrilled and most grateful to receive this support for our Street Angel project. As a university town, Guildford has a diverse and multi-cultural community with a large proportion being aged under-25. This number is also swelled by the young men and women attending nearby military training establishments. So, as you might imagine, many of those our Street Angels help are young people enjoying a night out in the local pubs, clubs and bars and who, for a variety of reasons, become vulnerable. Street Angels are equipped to assist and care for these people who might come to the attention of the Police or end up in A&E. We work closely with Surrey Police, Guildford Borough Council, Experience Guildford, Pub Watch and other organisations within the local community. We are particularly delighted to have entered this special partnership with the University of Surrey to enable us to better support the well being of young adults in our town, especially those who are living away from home for the first time. We look forward to working closely with them over the coming years to keep people safe and keep our fabulous town peaceful”
Paul Blakey MBE and Acting Inspector Marie Reavey were featured on BBC Radio 4 Sunday programme on 1st December as part of a feature on #FaithAndPoliceTogether - listen at 16:50
#FaithAndPoliceTogether launch 'Faith Communities Guide to Working with Police' (download here)
It has been over twelve months since I started work on the Faith and Police Together (FnP) project at the end of September 2018. Over the last 12 months I have spoken with, reviewed and visited many organisations across the country that are helping to tackle the key FnP priorities of Addiction, Youth Violence and Loneliness. I have been given the privilege of having a further 12 months secondment to continue this work, promote and embed Faith and Police Together, for which I am very thankful to my Chief Constable Mr Bailey.
Today I am pleased to release the culmination of the last years work “The faith Communities Guide to Engaging with Police”. This guide is a PDF document and has very useful information about ways in which Faith communities can engage with and support the local police with practical guidance around the areas of addiction, youth violence and loneliness and more. It is not an exhaustive list but includes many organisations, ideas and projects that can inspire and support faith communities to set up a project in partnership with the police and other statutory agencies.
I do hope you will find it informative and useful. Please do circulate it far and wide amongst your contact.
Thank you to everyone who has supported and contributed to this work over the last year. I very much appreciate it and look forward to working with you all over the coming 12 months.
Inspector Marie Reavey - #FaithAndPoliceTogether
Just over 14 years ago we had this thought that the 'Wild West of West Yorkshire', Halifax town centre on a weekend evening, needed people who care to offer love and support to those who became vulnerable. As Christians we believed our town centre deserved better than this Wild West image! We approached Churches Together and the YMCA with the idea of opening a cafe they ran between 9pm and 3am on Friday and Saturday nights. They said yes! We then approached the police who said an even bigger YES and asked if we could start something 2 weeks later - Friday 25th November 2005 (the start of the busier Christmas season and the day the licensing laws changed).
We said ok - not much else happens for people involved in church communities at this time of year! Our initial aim was to run a safe place drop-in cafe. A team of 6 committed to this and we turned up not having a clue what we were doing or what to expect! Amazingly 50 people turned up that night to volunteer - people from church communities across Halifax who believed our town deserved better than the binge drink, sexual assaults and violence that seemed to be so prevalent on weekend nights.
With too many people to just sit in our small cafe we decided (with permission from the police) to offer patrols alongside the safe place drop-in and Street Angels was born!
It worked! Helping over 60 people in our first 6 weeks and with Police, Home Office, media, business, church and community support we carried on once our 6 week trial was over.
This simple idea to help our town centre contributed to a 42% reduction in violent crime within 12 months! Other town and city centres were watching and started to visit to see Street Angels in action. By the end of 2007 we had supported 26 communities to set up similar projects with much of this growth coming via Police and Local Government encouragement to the local church to replicate what they are doing in Halifax!
In July 2008 we started the Christian Nightlife Initiatives Network - we sensed that what we were about was bigger than a name (Street Angels) and we wanted to offer support and resources as well as celebrate all that God was doing through His church, community partners and volunteers in the night-time economy. By the end of 2008 we had grown to 36 projects within the CNI Network family and 29 interested towns across the UK and overseas. We also connected in 2010 with the amazing NightLight in Northern Ireland and Street Chaplains in Scotland who were running long before us!
Our journey is an amazing story of faithfulness to a vision and the willingness to grow and develop as the vision increases.
We are now at around 130 local projects - working on the streets, in clubs, at festivals, around train stations, at sporting events, with communities and with young people.
Collectively the CNI Network family have: received awards; met with Royalty and Prime Ministers; expanded the concept; become one of the 21st century missionary movements as we export overseas; featured on TV, radio, magazines and newspapers; held several conferences and receptions; seen crime and anti-social behaviour reduced; and, most importantly, equipped thousands of volunteers to impact local communities and people through the simplicity of loving the person in front of them!
As we celebrate 14 years, and enter our 15th year, CNI Network honours and thanks all those who are within our family - all those who volunteer, pray, support, organise, fundraise and keep quiet on Saturday and Sunday mornings to allow those who have volunteered to sleep!
CNI Network is the church and community working together to help make our streets like new again. We have helped and assisted tens of thousands of people, picked up tens of thousands of bottles, handed out countless pairs of flip-flops and stopped numerous fights with the offer of a lollipop! Thank you to all who are part of the 14 year adventure!
Paul Blakey MBE - founder / CEO Street Angels, CNI Network
Below a cartoon based on Northallerton Street Angels drawn by Chris Bambrough....
We have recently welcomed Summer Nightlife Outreach into the CNI Network family. They run mission teams in European summer resorts - check out summernightlifeoutreach.com for information and to sign up!
The work of CNI Network and Street, Club and Festival Angels as well as the SafeNightOut.party campaign features in the special Christmas edition of Inspire Magazine.
The free magazine is one of the biggest circulated Christian magazines in the UK and is available free from CPO (see here)
The work of Guildford’s volunteer Street Angels and Community Angels was recognised at an event that also welcomed 32 new members to the team.
The Revd Noelle Coe, the Guildford town chaplain, led the annual commissioning service, held at Christ Church in Waterden Road on November 3.
Guests included the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More Molyneux, and his wife Sarah; the Mayor of Guildford, Richard Billington; patron Lady Elizabeth Toulson; and David Munro, Surrey’s Police and Crime Commissioner; together with representatives from a range of organisations, supporters and friends.
There are 140 much-loved ‘Angelic’ volunteers who play a part in projects run by Guildford Town Centre Chaplaincy which was established in 2008 by local churches.
The charity runs the Street Angels project, which has now helped some 60,000 people, providing a calming presence on the town’s streets, between 10.30pm and 4am, every Friday and Saturday night.
A much newer project, Community Angels, befriends and reconnects isolated people across the town during the day, and the volunteer chaplains provide an independent listening ear within the workplace, including giving support to the Guildford police and fire stations.
The Revd Coe said: “My first year in post as town chaplain has been rewarding, varied and extremely busy.
“I have had the privilege of working alongside so many committed individuals who serve the people of our town.
“Our annual service has again provided a fabulous opportunity to thank our amazing volunteers, acknowledging their selfless giving of time and compassion to the vulnerable in our town.
“I am so proud to have had opportunities to contribute to making Guildford a safer and more caring place for those who work, rest or play here.
“I am looking forward to continuing our work in 2020, collaborating with other church, civic and community organisations.
“Working in partnership with others, our Angels remain committed to supporting the community of Guildford by tackling social isolation and vulnerable people within it, in a non-judgemental way.
“We have seen huge demand for home visits from our Community Angels over the last year, reflecting an increase of feelings of insecurity in people of all ages.
“Our volunteer angels seek to reassure and re-engage people with their community, to enable them to live a full life.
“We are continually recruiting new volunteers and invite people to find out more about how they can serve and support their neighbours.”
The Revd Jo Trickey, curate at Christ Church, spoke at the service on the parable of the Lost Sheep, focusing on the part that individuals can play in looking after those in need.
The Mayor of Guildford and PC Victoria Detomaso, from Surrey Police, expressed heartfelt appreciation of the work of the volunteers on behalf of the wider community.
The service also provided an opportunity to thank organisations who have become Chaplaincy Community Partners, by granting much needed financial support to the work of the Angels.
New collaborations have recently been announced with the University of Surrey, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioners, the Community Foundation for Surrey and Surrey County Council.
With no statutory funding, the chaplaincy is funded purely by voluntary donations, the majority is given by Guildford churches of all denominations.
Anyone wishing to find out more about how they can support the work of the Guildford Town Centre Chaplaincy can find details on its website.
One of the many initiatives that CNI Network is involved in is the Queens Award for Voluntary Services - our CEO is one of around forty assessors.
This prestigious award is given to between two hundred and fifty and three hundred voluntary groups each year and is the equivalent to an MBE for volunteer groups. It is an Award which aims to celebrate outstanding groups who are excellent in their field and winners are announced on 2nd June each year (the anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen's Coronation).
Each winter the assessors meet to look at around seventy applications each. They spend time looking for those groups where the volunteers are taking the initiative, leading the project and making things happen that bring huge benefits to the community where the organisation is based. The groups come in all shapes and sizes - some only known within the community they serve, others having a much bigger profile.
The impact of voluntary groups is always amazing to read, as chair of the assessors Sir Martyn Lewis OBE explains:
"Like those in Oxfordshire mentoring children who have a parent in prison – thus breaking the cycle of inter-generational offending; the Shropshire group helping older adults to get online; the boxing club in Northern Ireland encouraging normally excluded kids to reach for a better education; the Welsh group proudly promoting the maritime history of their town."
"And there is no limit to the ingenuity of our Award winners. The West Midlands volunteers not only turning redundant plots of land into community gardens, but going on to teach gardening skills to the unemployed, to ex-offenders and people with disabilities; the Suffolk folk who use a campervan to give people in rural areas access to a mobile cafe and information centre; the Isle of Wight cafes created especially for people with dementia; and the Manchester volunteers with learning disabilities themselves who organise dance workshops and high quality performances."
CNI Network's Guildford Street Angels were the recipients of a QAVS Award in 2015 for the work they carry out on the streets of Guildford on weekend evenings as well as through daytime Chaplaincy.
Nominations for QAVS open on 1st April. Anyone can nominate a group, as long as they are not involved with it as a volunteer, employee or close relative. You can nominate by visiting https://qavs.culture.gov.uk.
Stuart, the chair of trustees for CNI Network, visited Whitby Street Angels Annual Meeting and presented seven of the volunteers with long service certificates...
Paul was in Boscombe on the South Coast of England for the Boscombe Angels 10th celebration. Paul also presented certificates to long serving volunteers. He joined the team on patrol in Boscombe centre and also met with Rosie from Big Church Day Out to chat about the welfare team at the 2020 event and Christine from FlyJesus to chat about festivals in the UK...
Derek, the CNI Network Regional Coordinator in Cornwall, visited a thank you event for Newquay's Pirans Angels who were celebrating the first season...
A new booklet aims to serve as an Introduction of the work of CNI Network - click here to view.
Donate to the work of CNI Network here
Street Angels - Christian Nightlife Initiatives Network:
Registered Charity 1136416 / Company Limited by Guarantee 07173090
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Postal Address: CNI Network, The King's Centre, Park Rd, Halifax, HX1 2TS
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (founder / CEO) / Phone: 07725501465