Sue Coleman share an update from Colwyn Bay Street Angels 12/02/2024
Colwyn Bay Street Angels was launched on 21st April 2023. We start @20 Station Road in the town centre and go out on Fridays from 8pm onwards. We have a core team with others joining in when they can. The team members live in the area and belong to some of the local churches. We need at least three people when we go out and we do one or two shifts depending on how many people we have on the night. If we have only have three people then we all go out together and do several patrols of the town. If we have more people then one team can go out while the other team stays @20 and provide a safe space for anyone who needs to come in. The teams often do some litter picking when they go out and often receive appreciation from people for doing this.
The commitment of the teams to go out every week regardless is a silent but powerful witness to the community. This is also important in building up relationships with people as they see us regularly and don't see us a threat. As we greet them, they will often stop to chat and tell us about themselves. Sometimes we can signpost them to places where they can find help. There are two main pubs in the town centre and we have built up good relationships with the security teams there.
Sometimes the people we meet on the street are 'worse for wear' but we can still listen to them. One of these was a man who was very drunk that we had met in the grounds of the local parish church. He told us about the relationship that he had with his parents and it wasn't good. We asked him if he would like us to pray with him and he said he would like to get closer to his parents. We met him a while later and he told us that he had had a stroke and that his parents had come to look after him. The next thing we heard was that he had died and his parents came to thank us for being so kind to him.
Another time we found a man who was slumped in the doorway of one of the vacant shops in town. We made him a coffee and tried to find out who he was and where he lived but without much success. A man who was standing nearby started telling us about his own problems so we asked if he'd like us to pray with him. He said yes and also asked us to pray for the man slumped in the doorway. After praying, this man said he knew what to do and found out the man's name and address then phoned for a taxi which he paid for and the team were then able to help get him home.
Another time we were called by one of the security staff at one of the local pubs and asked if we could help a lady who was in a bad way on a bench outside. We bought her into the safe space and cleaned her up then stayed with her until she had recovered enough to get her home. These are just a few of the significant encounters that we have had but there are many others including encouraging people in some of the local businesses and interacting with some of the local young people who love getting lollies or bottled water from the teams.
Being part of the Street Angels team is a privilege. It is a sacrifice but it's worth it and it's not hard, it's often just a matter of loving the person in front of you.
Could you be part of the Rhyl and Towyn Street Angels team in 2024...
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