Published: 09 July 2012
Street Angels are on duty in Oldham town centre on Saturday nights and on Sundays at Bank Holiday weekends. Volunteers work alongside agencies like the police and council to ensure people are kept safe and enjoy themselves.
They go walkabout from a base at 80 Yorkshire Street, which is a place where people (maybe worse for wear from drink) can wait in safety until collected by friends or until they’ve sobered sufficiently to get a taxi home. As well as chatting to revellers, Angels offer practical assistance e.g. searching for friends, escorting people to cabs and collecting empty bottles. They are in radio contact with emergency services.
Angels can diffuse situations before things escalate, thus preventing crime. They’re valued by visitors to clubs and bars and by those who work there. Parents feel confident in the knowledge that Street Angels are looking out for their offspring.
Many of the volunteers are from local churches, motivated by their faith to offer this kind of community support, and seven of these are Mothers’ Union members, but non church members help too. Their motto is 'there because we care’ and Street Angels express genuine love for others.
Reverend Jean Hurlston, is founder of the Oldham Street Angels, which is a project managed by Oldham Town Centre Chaplaincy, and can be contacted on email@example.com
Read more about this project in Summer 2012 copy of Cymbal (available from 7 August).
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