WHETHER you have had one drink too many, lose your handbag or even get injured pulling out some retro dance moves – rest assured that help will be available this New Year’s Eve.
Volunteers from the Huddersfield Street Angels will be on hand tomorrow night to help the police cope with the influx of revellers.
The Christian group will set out at 10pm from the Methodist Mission on Lord Street. They normally walk for about five hours through the town, helping people find their friends, a taxi or in some cases an ambulance.
Founded in 2007, the number of Angels has consistently grown with 35 now helping people in the town centre on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Dianne Hughes, treasurer of Huddersfield Street Angels, said: “On New Year’s Eve we are expecting it to be quite busy so we will have a team of angels out.
“We have about 35 volunteers now but just a year ago we had only 10.
“We deal with a lot of different situations and Huddersfield Street Angels have tried to maintain a presence in the town throughout the month of December.
“It has been difficult at times as we all know how busy we are.
“However, I am proud to say that we have more or less succeeded.
“Our aim is to help those who are vulnerable including the homeless.
“We start the night with a briefing from the police and often they let us know if there are certain events on which they expect to be very busy.
“We generally talk to people who are sick, or have fallen over, or even hurt themselves and ask them if they are okay or need any help.
“If a group of people have gone out drinking and one has got separated, we help them either get in a taxi or find their friends.
“We work very closely with the police and have a good relationship with them too.
“We don’t deal with violent situations but we can use our radios to alert the police if we see something going on.
Dianne, of Emley, is the night-matron at the Northern General Infirmary in Sheffield and spends her nights off walking Huddersfield’s streets to help those who have had too much to drink.
She said: “The month began with the wonderful Festival of Light weekend, which coincided on the Friday night with the Street Angels Annual Social Event, which was held at the Mission.
“This was well attended and we took the excess food to various people in town that we knew would appreciate it.
“We maintain a Christian presence on the streets but we do not preach to people, that is not what we are about.
“We wear high visibility jackets and we don’t go out in groups of less than three.
“Each group has a team leader, who is trained in first aid also.”
Street Angels began as a government initiative to involve the church in community work and it is now part of Kirklees Safer Partnerships.
The volunteers come from churches across Huddersfield.
Read More http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/local-west-yorkshire-news/2011/12/30/huddersfield-street-angels-set-to-protect-revellers-on-new-year-s-eve-86081-30031780/2/#ixzz1iJhexDy6