VOLUNTEERS at Bolton Street Angels are asking for the public’s support in a bid to raise their profile.
The group, which helps vulnerable drinkers in the town centre on Saturday nights, is looking to purchase and modify a second-hand ambulance or minibus as a base that would be parked in Bradshawgate every week.
The Street Angels who moved into Bank Street Chapel after being forced to leave their former base in Bradshawgate, have found that fewer people are aware of their presence in the town centre.
Residents are now being urged to help by voting for the project to receive a grant of around £10,000 from the Aviva Community Fund.
Suzanne McKinley, the group’s treasurer, said: “We have been based at Bank Street Chapel for over a year and they have been very good to us, but we sometimes feel a bit invisible there.
“Our volunteer numbers have been dropping and being able to see us in the town centre will hopefully encourage more people to sign up so that we can survive and grow.
“It would make a huge difference to us to have this as a new, permanent base.
“Recently, we haven’t had people coming in to talk with us like we used to when we were on Bradshawgate.”
The Street Angels have permission to park at the Primark delivery area if they can secure a vehicle as a new base, a location where they would be far more visible to drinkers coming out of pubs and bars.
If their application is successful, there are hopes to double the current number of volunteers and expand the service, which has been running since 2008, to include Friday night support.
She added: “At the moment, we feel more like an emergency service going out and responding to incidents in the town centre. What we miss is having people come in, sit down, and chat with us. Part of our job is prevention and talking to people is a big part of that.”
The group currently has between 15 and 20 volunteers and helps up to 400 people every year. To vote for the project, visit community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/16-1561.