Youngsters highlight how Basic Idea project is making a difference

A group of Belper youngsters has helped make a short film highlighting the work of Hope’s Basic Idea food bank project.

Children from local churches went to find out why and how provisions donated by the community can make such a difference to local people in desperate need.

The children did all the filming and asked the questions they wanted to ask.

The resulting film has now been uploaded to YouTube and can be viewed here.

Belper Street Angels officially up and running

Belper Street Angels is officially up and running following a successful launch event at St John’s Chapel, Belper, last Friday.

Paul Blakey, the national founder of Street Angels, led a short commissioning service for the 19 volunteers who have so far joined the project and asked for God’s blessing on their work.

Hope for Belper co-ordinator Gareth Greenwood spoke about how the Street Angels project had evolved from Hope’s actitvities over the past four and a half years while project co-ordinator Rachel Marszalek gave a reading from Matthew 25, 35-40.

The service, which was attended by church leaders from across the town as well as Hope representatives and Street Angels volunteers, was followed by Buck’s Fizz (the drink, not the band!) and nibbles.

Afterwards, Paul joined the by-now-regular Friday night ‘patrol’ along with members of the Belper team. They are pictured outside the Memorial Gardens, Paul on the right.

Street Angels are still on the lookout for potential volunteers willing to give up one Friday night a month. If you care about young people and would like help make Belper a safer community for all please contact

Street Angels are front page news!

We’ve had a  great write up in the Belper News this week on the Street Angels project as it prepares for its public launch next Friday evening (22 June) at St John’s Chapel, Belper.

The angels have already carried out a couple of Friday night patrols but next Friday’s event sees the official launch of the project after months of planning.

The event will start at 7pm at the chapel with a short commissioning service for the volunteers, followed by a reception and an opportunity for photographs.

All those involved in the project will be attending together with some of the local partner organisations and members of Belper Town Council.  The service will be led by Paul Blakey MBE who founded the Street Angels project natrionally.

The project has really come together over the past few weeks with all the volunteers undergoing training in safeguarding, first aid and youth culture awareness among other things.

The initial target of 16 volunteers has been reached, meaning that patrols of three to four people are viable each Friday of the month with people volunteering one Friday a month.

Outings so far have seen Street Angels walking the lanes of the Whitemoor estate and the Parks estate chatting to young people who are encouraged by our presence.

Project co-ordinator Rachel Marszalek said:  “Our aim is to make our community a happy place, joining in with the good work that is already happening that impacts life here.”

Schoolkids enjoy free showing of Puss in Boots

Hope for Belper has once been able to offer free cinema tickets to children and their families from across Belper.

For the past few years, Hope has worked with local primary schools and the Ritz Cinema to offer families the chance to have an afternoon at the cinema.

This year, the H4B team welcomed over 80 people to the cinema with cakes and drinks provided by church members from across the town. We then enjoyed a showing of Puss In Boots.

We’d like to thank the Ritz Cinema staff for their warm welcome and generousity, and all those who donated cakes, time and money to support the project

Mark Berthelemy

Street Angels project takes big step forward

Plans to set up a Street Angels project in Belper have taken several steps forward over the past fortnight following a successful open meeting to discuss the idea.

More than 30 members of the public attended the meeting at the Queen’s Head pub on Chesterfield Road, including representatives of Belper Town Council, Derbyshire County Council and Derbyshire police.

A management committee to oversee the project has also now been formed and we are close to reaching our initial target of 16 volunteers.

All being well, it is envisaged that the first group of Angels will be taking to the streets in early June, with a public launch planned for later that month.

For those who are new to the idea, Street Angels is a network of local organisations across the country whose common purpose is to make a difference by helping to improve our night-time culture.

Working alongside the police, they are trained to be a visible presence amongst the nightlife that congregates on the streets and estates of any town on a weekend evening

The idea is that teams of two or three would walk agreed areas in Belper’s estates and town centre between 8pm and 12pm every Friday night, with a focus on the needs of young people in particular.

We hope they will become an increasing presence at some of the town’s events and throughout the year, particularly as evenings become busier over the course of the summer with the many attractions Belper offers.

Further information about the project can be found on this powerpoint presentation which was given to Belper churches during March.

There has also been coverage of the project on local website Belper People, while project co-ordinator the Rev Rachel Marszalek will be writing about it in the June edition of local magazine All Things Local.

Anyone over the age of 18 who has a heart for their community can become a Street Angel, and training in areas such as first aid, safeguarding and drug and alcohol awareness will be provided.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Luke Norman on