A report on the Weekend:
Over ninety people representing forty local projects and partner organisations gathered at Staverton Park Hotel in Daventry for our third National Conference and first weekend conference.
With great facilities and food those who attended had a weekend of inspiration, learning, networking and gathering resources to help impact communities and people across the country.
On Friday we heard from several projects across the country who shared ideas and ways they are working and impacting communities. Marjorie Golding from the POP Campaign then shared the story of her son Blake who was glassed as he worked in a nightclub. The injuries he endured caused Marjorie and husband Robert to start a campaign to replace glass with polycarbonate in pubs and clubs. Towns that have trialled this have seen a significant reduction in facial injuries. We were encouraged to take polycarbonate glasses to PubWatch meetings and encourage this at a grassroots level.
Bob Stoner from Lincoln Street Pastors and the newest CNI Network project Sleaford Street Source introduced the Your Night mobile app and how this can ensure those we help have a safe and fun night out. Priced at £30 the app is available for use by CNI Network projects.
Our keynote speaker Gerald Coates shared about the need to be and the impact of people of encouragement. When we encourage and bless others this can and does impact people's lives and can lead to changed lives, families, streets and communities. We were encouraged to encourage others in our teams, other projects and those we help.
Saturday saw the eBook "Street Angels - the amazing story from binge to better" launched followed by why there is a need for CNI Network as an umbrella organisation that promotes, celebrates and is a one-stop place for others to find out what is happening.
Fast paced TED style talks saw a wide range of topics covered over Saturday morning, many of which were covered in more detail in Saturday afternoon workshops:
Gerald Coates shared about Sexual Healing and the grip that pornography has over people and how this is destroying lives with Nathan Ferreria rapping about his experiences and the freedom he has found.
Kym-Marie Cleasby spoke about Wash My Pink Jumper - an organisation set up to help young ladies who are wanting to stop binge drinking and shared the story of how binge drinking has effected her family. Several people volunteered to be Big Sisters and to look at starting a Wash My Pink Jumper group.
Steve Brock spoke about the Accredited Training Package available to local projects which offers volunteers a qualification in "Supporting Users of the Night-Time Economy". Steve also spoke about the work of the Christian Police Association and how this can help us link closer with local Police.
Beth Tash and Lucy Hardy launched Club Angels - our newest initiative - and told how this had made a massive difference in clubs in Leeds and Croydon where the scheme already runs. The Club Angels video was premièred and ideas given for how how to run a Club Angels.
The Alcohol and Safety Education Resource was then launched by Tony Buck - this resource will help local projects connect with schools and young people's groups with a lesson plan that covers alcohol facts and allows time to discuss the role of Street Angels with stories of incidents within the local town.
Tam Sheen spoke about street grooming and human trafficking and the reality of this happening within the night-time of our communities. Tam started CALLA as a response to things she witnessed whilst a volunteer with Telford Sanktuary and gave us tools and insight to spot the signs and help prevent this within our work on the streets.
DC Thomas Spencer from the North East Counter Terrorism Team thanked those who volunteer and shared how we are and can increasingly be key to preventing terrorism within our communities.
Finally Roy Crown from HOPE Together spoke about ways churches can work together better and shared some of the resources from HOPE available to help facilitate this.
Our keynote speaker Debra Green OBE from Redeeming Our Communities concluded the morning with some stories of community transformation as churches, community groups, police, fire, NHS and local authority work in partnership to offer projects such as ROC Cafe, ROC Justice, etc.
Saturday also launched the "dudes with wings" product range and two new Street Angels songs - flip flops and lollipops - and a song we will make available as a MP3 shortly by Dave and Mandy Scott-Morgan who provided an evening of rock 'n' roll on Saturday.
Sunday was a time for feedback and moving forward along with more stories from local projects. There were many ideas and resources shared including potential funding pots, first aid course from Ellis at Halifax Street Angels, ideas for recruiting more volunteers, social media workshop and looking at ways of networking together better regionally. Trevor Bendrien shared some thoughts in a humorous way around team work from the story of the crippled man who was lowered through the roof to Jesus when he was in a packed house. Team work was needed to make the hole, work out where the hole should be cut, gathering tools to get the hole cut, getting the man on a stretcher onto the roof, etc - this is how local projects and CNI Network works - teamwork, helping each other, carrying the weak and all mucking in to et the job done! Andy Burns finished the conference with a commissioning anew of our local projects and those who volunteer. A fitting end to an excellent weekend!
Thanks again to Diageo who sponsored the weekend and enabled us to provide the conference bags and to UCB for donating the comics / thanks to all who came and those contributed in any way to make it an amazing weekend!
From the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby:
“I am delighted to send you my good wishes as you prepare for the CNI Network National Conference 2013. The witness of Christians through work in night-time projects brings Jesus’ own ministry of welcome to our streets and I am immensely grateful for the difference you make to the lives of vulnerable people. My prayers are with you, that you and all who serve in this way may be strengthened through faith and may bring God’s love to those you meet.”
People were invited to share thoughts on the Conference on Twitter and Facebook using #CNIConf - see here for the weekend thoughts
There are more pictures on Facebook
The Conference saw the new eBook, 'Street Angels - the amazing story from binge to better' launched. The book tells the fascinating and inspiring story of Street Angels from its beginnings in Halifax to a movement of over 120 local projects including Street Chaplains in Dundee and NightLight in Belfast who pioneered night-time work.
The book is available on Kindle and as a PDF (donate £5 via MyDonate and you will be sent a link which gives you a PDF download you can then share on your desktop computer, tablet or mobile). Find out more about the eBook here.
POP Campaign - website / Facebook / Twitter
YourNight Mobile App - website
Sexual Healing book - website / Facebook
Wash My Pink Jumper - website / Facebook / Twitter
Christian Police Association - website / Twitter
Club Angels - website / Facebook / setting up
Alcohol and Safety Education Resource - website
CALLA (Street Grooming) - website / Twitter
My Dangerous Lover Boy (video) - website / Twitter
HOPE Together - website / Facebook / Twitter
Redeeming Our Communities - website / Facebook / Twitter
Surviva Wear (hooded body warmer) - website / email
Dudes With Wings products - website / CharismaArt
Missing People - Facebook / Twitter
Who Are The Street Angels comic book - website
UCB - website / Facebook / Twitter
Love Your Streets - website / Facebook / Twitter
Neighbourhood Prayer Network - website
Beyond The Streets - website
Neighbourhood Watch - website / Twitter
Printout (printing) - website
Dave and Mandy Scott-Morgan - website
Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme - website
Police and Crime Commissioners - website
Lloyds Day to Make a Difference - article
Co-Operative Community Support - website
Vicars on the Streets - invite clergy to a special night
Proceeds of Crime - possible funding from Police / PCC
Freshers Events - at your local college / university
Regional Events - conference or social across projects
A closed Facebook group is now in place for support, sharing prayer needs, contacting other projects, etc. Contact Paul to be added to this.
Arun Angels Bognor-regis, Aylesbury Town Chaplaincy, Bedford Street Angels, Blackpool and Flyde Street Angels, Bolton Street Angels, Boro Angels Middlesbrough, CALLA, Christian Initiative in Calderdale Schools, Croydon Club Angels, Doncaster Street Pastors, Dudes With Wings, Dundee Street Chaplains, Fleet Town Centre Project, Halifax Street Angels, Hartlepool Town Pastors, Headingley Street Angels, High Wycombe Lap Dancing Bar Chaplain, Hillingdon Street Angels Uxbridge, HOPE Together, HYP - Helping Young People Halifax, Leeds Club Angels, Leeds Street Angels, Lincoln Street Pastors, North East Counter Terrorism Unit, Norwich Street Partnership, Oldham Street Angels, POP-Campaign, Redeeming Our Communities, Sanktuary Telford, Scarborough Community Angels, Scarborough Street Angels, Scarborough Youth Angels, Sexual Healing Book, Sleaford Street Source, South Tyneside Street Angels, Stockton Town Pastors, Street Angels in North East Lincolnshire, Tamworth Street Angels, Wash My Pink Jumper, Yarm Town Pastors, York Street Angels, YourNight Mobile App
Debra Green OBE is the Director and Founder of Redeeming Our Communities. She is married to Frank with four children and is a regular speaker at various events including Police conferences, local authority events and a wide range of church events. Debra has written 2 books and features regularly on TV and radio.