The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the ‘MBE’ for voluntary groups, has been awarded to Guildford Street Angels.
Guildford Street Angels has been on-hand and visible throughout the town on Friday and Saturday nights since 2008. Its volunteers offer caring, supportive and non-judgemental assistance to people who, for whatever reason, have become vulnerable during the night time and early hours.
They have helped ensure many a reveller receives a safe journey home. Well-known for the lollipops and flip-flops that they give out, they also dispense water, tissues, wet wipes, space blankets, hand gel and offer very basic first aid. They pick up bottles and broken glass left discarded by visitors, and in the last year alone have cleaned up more than 1,000 bottles from the streets of Guildford.
Their work in collaboration with Surrey Police, Safer Guildford Partnership, the NHS, Pubwatch and the venue security staff has all been instrumental in the town achieving Purple Flag status in 2014. The group are also part of CNI Network (Christian Nightlife Initiatives) which support one hundred and thirty night-time projects.
The Revd Rod Boreham, the town centre chaplain said: “We are very proud and honoured to receive the Queen’s Award in recognition of the selfless efforts of our volunteers. They give their time and energy willingly to make sure that any vulnerable person they encounter is looked after and kept safe.”
Paul Blakey MBE, the founder of the Street Angels movement, said: "The amazing team of volunteers of Guildford Street Angels are committed to making the difference in the night-time community of the town. Having visited them on several occasions I have seen first hand the difference the project has contributed to as violence and anti-social behaviour is reduced. As CNI Network we congratulate them on this highly deserved award."