Marlborough Street Angels started in 2011 covering both Saturday nights of Marlborough Mop (annual fair held in October) known as the Big & Little Mops in the High St, it had been noticed that groups of young teenagers had been seen at the fair under the influence of alcohol and in a vulnerable position. Marlborough Churches Together (our local Ecumenical Partnership) were approached, with the MCT agreeing to fund the project, paying for printed High Visibility vests and all the supplies needed. Volunteers (angels) came forward and set up a stall in the High St giving away bottles of water, tea, coffee, hot chocolate drinks and biscuits and also wandering the street between 9pm-midnight.
Volunteers were encouraged to enjoy themselves, recognise what an important contribution they are making to Marlborough, being a Street Angel also encourages personal development as well as support of those we encounter, the role includes talking to people, assisting & picking up litter, below are a few accounts from the Street Angels themselves:
“I was a bit apprehensive about being a volunteer for Street Angels as I was not sure exactly how the crowds would respond. The evening went very smoothly, we started off at the church where we all met and were given instructions. We set up a table just outside the Estate Agents Strakers with tea and coffee provision. We then set out in pairs with bottles of water to hand out to people to help wash out the alcohol. All the young people were very appreciative of all we were offering and II did not encounter any problems. I look forward to helping out next year." Tay Adams
‘Come and be a Street Angel’ - said the appeal. ‘People urgently needed to offer hot drinks, water and chat to the folks at the Mop Fair in Marlborough’. “Nothing could have been further from my comfort zone – particularly on a Saturday evening in mid-October. Saturday evenings are for armchairs, good food and something mindless on the television. But a pricking conscience can be a powerful force so guess where I found myself on the evenings of October 6th and 13th.
I soon discovered that it’s quite easy to give away free stuff. The key is to smile because a smile is non-judgemental – no strings attached – no hidden agendas. Then I realised that, through the simple offer of a bottle of water or a cup of hot chocolate, that person had briefly become the most important person in my life. They had suddenly become a real person with a name, a life, problems and successes - they mattered intensely to me. And in that moment I understood just a little more about the way God offers every one of us his unconditional love.
As a group, we supported many revellers and played our part in the story of their Mop Fair. Most were grateful, some were wary, some were curious. Why did we do it? - Why ever not? did not encounter any problems. I look forward to helping out next year.” Kate Trowbridge
“I am so glad I came, it was fun, we live in a world full of bad people, you do not know who they are or what they look like. Our kids are trying to get on with their lives as best they can, and do not think of the danger in front of them. We all can be fooled by good words and put our self in danger. So it is up to us all to look out for our people. Not just the Kids. On my way home that night I had a warm glow in me and felt good about what I had done. It cost me nothing. But the feeling I had money could not buy, cannot wait until next year.” Many thanks Andy
“It was amazing how appreciative youngsters were of our presence they seem to recognise the organisation and what we stand for. People very much valued a free hot chocolate. I received a lovely hug from one young girl and Martin was offered a high five from one young man” Gill
“I have to say it was with some apprehension that I set out on Saturday but need not have worried – as always the things we do in God’s name are rarely as difficult as we imagine – because usually we are trying to do it in our own strength. I was impressed by how we were received and feel that by our presence and smiling faces people cannot have failed to notice! I do believe it made a difference and that God will use our efforts in ways we may never know.” God Bless –Sandra
“On the street Gill and I found many who knew why we were there and were grateful for all that the Street Angels do to help. I think there is a sense of security resulting from our presence along with the police and first aid people we came across. We got rid of several bottles of water for the needier youngsters we found, all of whom had others who looked after them and stayed with them. We came across one situation only where our presence may have helped to avoid a conflict becoming more serious by the Town Hall.” Martin