The Northern Conference in York was a great day with 70 people representing 24 local projects from Cleveland, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Oxfordshire, Wales and Yorkshire. You can read about the day here.
Are late night brawls a thing of the past asked the media as figures show a 12% year-on-year drop in admissions to English hospitals for violent injuries are just the latest evidence of a remarkable and welcome trend. The BBC claim "Something extraordinary is happening". It is interesting that this has happened over the last 10 years since street patrol initiatives within the night-time economy took off! A connection maybe? When Street Angels was first launched in Halifax Paul shared in several meetings that when we pray and action towards 'God's Kingdom come, God's will be done, on earth as in heaven' the reality of that is reduced crime, safer streets, less aggression, etc. When violent crime was reduced in Halifax by 42% in 12 months, that the church was active in the town at a time and in an area of most need was a significant factor (along with better partnership working between the different agencies). We have evidence from several local projects that one of the outcomes is reduction in violence and anti-social behaviour. Well done to all our local projects and volunteers who have contributed to this 12% year on year reduction.
The Annual General Meeting of 'Street Angels - Christian Nightlife Initiatives' was held at the Northern Conference - please do have a look at: Agenda and Reports, Accounts Balance Sheet 2013/14 and Minutes of the AGM. One of our main issues moving forward is that of funding - our current funding is set to run out in July (this year). The trustees have made a fresh appeal to our local projects to consider investing £300 each year into CNI Network - this is less than the amount similar projects ask for one volunteer - as well as asking individuals if they would consider setting up monthly standing orders. There is a desire and vision not only to continue and grow the activity we are currently involved in but to grow and develop Club Angels (especially as nightclubs are requesting and desperate for Club Angels teams!). Moving forward our core costs are £50,000 - not a great amount considering all that CNI Network does - if you can donate please see here or if you can distribute printed leaflets to those who may be interested in investing in our work see here.
Water safety - this year has seen a lot of tragic deaths with young people who, after drinking, have either fell into or drowned swimming across rivers. Alcohol and rivers, lakes or the sea do not mix. We are encouraging projects in towns with rivers, lakes or by the sea to put out safety reminder messages on social media and to look for opportunities to go into schools or to speak to young people around alcohol and safety (we have a pack for this here). You may also want to follow and like Riverside Awareness UK - Facebook / Twitter / YouTube video (not for children).
The launch of Street Angels in Magaluf has attracted a great deal of media attention - BBC Radio Leeds interviews / BBC Leeds web site / Premier Christian Radio interview and see the Canal 4 TV feature below. If teams of Street Angels from the UK can visit Majorca over the summer to help the team run for 7 days (4am - 7am) and talk to people during the day around safety, etc please contact Cameron.
It is great that Blackpool and Fylde Street Angels, Stockton Town Pastors and York Street Angels have all launched mobile support units over the last month. This will help the projects to provide a safe place in the heart of the night-life as well as allow the teams to move locations to respond to new venues and events.
From the Blog:
Street Angels Leeds Project Coordinator (job vacancy)
Drinkaware - drunken nights out overview
Hull street angel Christine Mobbs: 'We're here to help, not to judge'
High Sheriff’s parting shot for charity
Manchester Street Angels is launched
Watford 'street angels' given £500 boost
Bridlington Street Angels looking to expand
Riverside Awareness UK
Tamworth Street Angels on David Cameron and Big Society
CNI Network Easter Message
Launch of Stockton Town Pastors mobile support unit
21st century Good Samaritans - Halifax Street Angels (student article)
Huge Bolton festival set to see families flock to the town centre on Easter Monday
The Sun Easter feature by Belper Street Angels coordinator
On our Facebook page - welcome 14 new Street Angels in Guildford; thank-you's from people helped by Street Angels; 106 fewer victims of violent crime in North Yorkshire; new Street Angels in Bognor-Regis; safe place scheme for Leeds students; Vicar of a different chapel!
On our Twitter feed - Oldham Angels won a cake; Festival Angels and Club Angels updates; I'm loving Street Angels instead; Street Angels for Goole; BusOasis works with young people on street; marshmallow shaped Easter bunnies - do follow and like us on Facebook and Twitter!
2015 sees us celebrate 3 milestones in our work - 20 years of street work in Northern Ireland (Belfast NightLight), 15 years of work in Scotland (Dundee's Street Chaplains) and 10 years of work in England (Halifax Street Angels). This is a great reason to celebrate!!! 2015:10 will be a year long celebration to recognise the massive impact all our projects are making in local communities and towards this nation and, increasingly, the world. Rod Cleasby (Wash My Pink Jumper) has designed a logo (above) and Lambeth Palace is booked for a launch Afternoon Tea on Monday 20th October (numbers are limited, book soon!). We are hoping to hold special events throughout the year and encourage local projects to include the logo on any events and publicity that they run. We are in the process of setting up a special web site which will bring together all that is planned. The year will end with the National Conference in Northumberland 23-25 October 2015.
Please share the 'Angels watching over you as you head to the beach this summer' article to encourage young people to have a fun and safe holiday and also so that parents and grand-parents can encourage children / grand-children to be aware of our linked work across Europe... This is great for church and community magazines, newspapers, sending to local radio stations as well as on your Facebook and Twitter.