Who are we?
The Street Angels Project has grown from a desire on the part of Hope for Belper and the local Christian community to show care and support to people in our town. We started in the summer of 2012.
We are unpaid volunteers. Some of us are committed Christians, some not, but there is no faith requirement to be a Street Angel.
There are groups like ours operating in over 120 towns and cities around the UK.
Our key values are
- collaboration and
- being non-judgmental.
Angels respect diversity and offer care to anyone regardless of who they are and whatever their circumstances.
We believe that people in need deserve care and support.
The needs may stem from homelessness, drunkenness, drug abuse, unemployment, bereavement, physical, emotional or sexual abuse or any other issue, which has caused distress or physical harm.
Although we are completely independent we work alongside the Police.
What do we do?
We spend time on the streets and estates of Belper on Friday nights offering support and help where we can, and a listening ear for any who want to talk.
We operate in mixed gender teams of 3 or 4, wear a Street Angel jacket, and carry a rucsac containing bottled water, flipflops and a simple first kit, useful phone numbers and other practical items.
The safety of Street Angel volunteers and the people we seek to serve is paramount.
As a rule we do not become involved in disturbances: our response is always to inform the proper authorities.
Street Angels need to be physically fit as we sometimes walk four or five miles over the course of a shift.
What’s the commitment?
We ask Angels to commit to one patrol per month, and currently these alternate between an early shift either from 8.30 pm—00.30 am Friday or a late shift from 10.30pm Friday—02.30am Saturday.
There is a probationary period for new members, and after that Angels sign up for a year at a time and re-commit annually, if they wish to. Each Summer we hold a simple commissioning ceremony.
What’s it like being a Street Angel?
We all find it fulfilling, and mostly very enjoyable though sometimes we get cold and wet, and occasionally we have quiet patrols with very few encounters with people.
The response to us on Belper’s streets is overwhelmingly positive, people being very appreciative of the fact that we are volunteers, giving of our time to offer support where we can.
Although we are a varied bunch of people we enjoy each other’s company, and value the opportunity to be able to put something back into the life of our town.
Sometimes what we do is humdrum, for example:
- clearing up broken glass;
- looking out for bottles or glasses that have been abandoned;
- helping someone look for a lost phone;
- escorting people to a taxi;
- giving out flip-flops to women who are struggling with their footwear;
- providing bottled water to those who have had too much to drink;
- offering simple first aid.
Our aim is to build a strong relationship between the people out on a Friday night and the Street Angel ‘brand’ as a whole, rather than us as individual Angels.
How does the application process work?
- When you contact us we will explain a little more about what we do and if it seems to you and us that it would be good to take it further, then we will ask you to come out on a patrol as an observer.
- If that goes well then you make a formal application to become a Street Angel, and we will take up references.
- Once satisfactory references have been received we will carry out a DBS check. [This used to be known as a CRB, and ensures that there are no criminal convictions against you which would disqualify you for this work.]
- Once the DBS check has come back all clear we will arrange for you to have training in safeguarding and possibly simple first aid.
- At the end of your training you start a probationary period, working alongside a Team Leader and another Angel. You’ll be making a great contribution to the life and safety of Belper.
- After your probationary period we’ll invite you to the next Annual Commissioning ceremony, usually in June or July, when you will have the opportunity to commit to a further 12 months if you wish.
For more details, or to ask any questions, please contact Tony Ward on 07503 625208