What is a Street Angel?
Street Angels are volunteers who believe that people deserve care and love in their time of need. Being non-judgmental underpins everything a Street Angel does. They provide care and support for people who use the leisure and entertainment venues in Guildford, helping them when they become vulnerable at night. This can happen to people for many reasons, including becoming separated from their friends, the effects of homelessness, intoxication, drug abuse, assault or any other issue which has caused personal distress or the potential for physical harm. Street Angels help people whoever they are, regardless of faith or background. They work in teams, in partnership with the club and pub door staff, Police and emergency services, to enable people to get home safely.
Our Street Angel teams are well-known in Guildford’s town centre streets on a Friday & Saturday night, for their calming presence, giving practical care and support & working in partnership with the other services to enable people to get home safely.
They wear distinctive coats with a bright yellow angel, so that people can easily recognise them, when needed, and they look to see if anyone in town needs their support. They patrol on foot and have direct contact by radio with each other, the team base, door staff, CCTV and the Police.
A small act of kindness can make a real difference to the evening for someone in need, and sometimes, our input can be life changing. A typical night might involve ensuring people get home safely, reuniting lost friends, tending those who have drunk too much, cleaning up broken glass, giving food to the homeless, giving out flip-flops, referring people to other support services to meet their long-term needs, and working alongside the police and emergency services to resolve problems. Street Angels give out lollipops as a friendly gesture, which one of our volunteers describes, “builds a trusting, confident and supportive relationship. A drink of water and a lollipop, and some sugar goes into the system, helps to sober people up … then you can help them to get safely into a cab.”
The Street Angel teams operate every Friday & Saturday night, all year round, starting at 10.30 pm, until around 4 am; each Street Angel commits to volunteer for 1 night every 4 weeks. Volunteers are over 18, are DBS checked, interviewed and receive specialist training to prepare them for the role.
Street Angels have been serving people on Guildford’s streets since October 2008 and make a positive impact on crime and antisocial behaviour (particularly in the vicinity of bars and clubs) by providing a calming presence late at night.
They also support other events & establishments, e.g. Fresher’s week, Alcohol Awareness events, the Guildford Retirement Fayre, the University Open days, helping to make Guildford a more welcoming place for prospective students, and reassuring the students of our presence in the town.
Could you be a Street Angel?
Do you have some spare time and feel motivated to do something that could make a difference in someone’s life?
- Are you 18 or over?
- Could you care for people who are vulnerable on a night out in town – especially but not exclusively young people?
- Are you a good listener & can you be non-judgmental in your approach to people who might live by differing values to your own?
- Are you a good team player?
- Can you commit to being out on the streets 1 night every 4 weeks? – between 10 pm – 4 am?
We recruit new Street Angel volunteers twice a year, in Spring and in Autumn. You could come out for a ‘taster’ night with our teams to see if this is something you would feel able to do. You can arrange this at any time, even if you are only just beginning to consider volunteering with us.
Contact our Street Angels Co-ordinator, Ben Pitt, either by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on 07717 876853. You will always be welcome to come and have a look at what we do.
Contact Street Angels
Need more information about Street Angels, want to make a donation or get involved?
Or call Ben Pitt on: 07717 876853
What people say about Street Angels
“My daughter was recently helped by the Street Angels; until then, I had not heard of them. When I looked at their website, I was hugely impressed with the compassionate open-minded support they offer people in times of vulnerability. My night as an observer on a shift confirmed my view that the Street Angels offer a calm and caring support network”
“Street Angels are one of the Church’s gifts to our communities. Town centres patrolled by Street Angels see marked reductions in violent crime, sexual assaults and antisocial behaviour … and provide excellent opportunities for men and women who really want to roll their sleeves up and get involved in their church and community, but haven’t found the right way to do that yet. I came away having met wonderful volunteers who really know what’s going on out there.”
“I find it really satisfying – it isn’t rocket science. You are sober, and they aren’t, so you can think straight; it all works together to transform the night … That is a joy! We can help to prevent crime from happening in the first place, so what we do is very worthwhile and really, really powerful. For example, calming down an emerging ‘fight’, by distracting people who are behaving unpredictably… with a few lollipops… (very often, they forget what they were arguing about and they are fine). You do see some very sad situations, particularly people sleeping on the streets who are homeless; or, (who) may feel vulnerable, but they know that there are people out there who really do care for them & want to help… I think that gives them hope & confidence. When something bad has happened… you just do whatever you can, in the moment. The very fact that we are there… doing & helping, is a huge source of strength to people… they know that they are not alone”.
“I have no doubt you take a lot of pressure off the police and are good for the general reputation and morale of the town… I was hugely impressed with the way Street Angels worked and the way it is obviously perceived and appreciated in the town. I lost count of the times when people greeted us with ‘Hey, Street Angels’ as though we were a welcome part of the street furniture. Congratulations and keep going.”