Street Angels are safe people who patrol a local place (typically town and city centres) on busy nights, generally Friday and Saturday 9pm - 3am. Several Street Angels projects also provide a safe place drop-in for people are or may become vulnerable. There are several projects using the Street Angels model with different names - eg Town Pastors, Street Chaplains, Street Lights, etc - we are happy for you to use what works best in your local area.
Street Angels is an exciting ministry. It shows that the church cares about the community it serves and about the problems associated with the night-time economy as so many of our town and city centres change character on weekend nights. Street Angels (and the wide range of other projects linked to ROC Angels) is about offering safe people and a safe place within this culture.
ROC Angels also supports Club Angels; Festival Angels and work at music festivals, sporting events, etc; support at train stations; A&E Angels, Youth Angels (detached youth work); daytime patrols (often around daytime drinkers); and mobile support units. We also encourage grass-roots development of ideas which we can and will support.
We also suggest that Church and Community working in partnership is the strongest model.
A typical Street Angels will cost between £4000 and £8000 per annum to run. Start-up costs are obviously more with uniform for volunteers, bulk buying of equipment (first aid, flip-flops, bottles of water, etc), training and publicity - we suggest you purchase these within your first year as more funds are generally available for start-up projects. Ongoing costs include: use of premises; renewal uniform for volunteers; first aid equipment; insurance; training; tea and coffee; small float for taxi fares for those helped; DBS checks; and volunteer expenses. We also suggest a part or full time worker is an advantage to manage the project and volunteers (this is an additional cost). We also welcome donations towards the national work of CNI Network. We can also help with online giving platforms.
There is a need to talk to local police, local authority, night-time businesses, town centre management, Police and Crime Commissioner, etc before launching.
Street Angels is locally coordinated with support and resources offered from the national CNI Network (this is on a donation basis). There is an option of becoming a local branch of the national CNI Network charity. We suggest that in order to sustain Street Angels it is run as a Churches Together / HOPE project. Any decisions on who can / cannot volunteer (e.g. those outside the church) is down to the local coordinators (we would suggest that running Street Angels as a church and community event strengthens the team and the impact of the work).
CNI Network encourages you to source training locally as this will strengthen your local links with partner organisations. Typical training should include: Conflict Awareness (local police or Ian from Huddersfield Street Angels can offer this - see the awareness raising page); First Aid (this can be offered free via British Red Cross - see here); understanding of night-time economy and roles of Street Angels alongside other agencies; use of town centre radio scheme (if used); drug and alcohol awareness. Other training could include mental health awareness, human trafficking (which can be an issue within some night-time economy areas) and suicide awareness. CNI Network have pulled together a page of Awareness Raising training Resources - see here.
CNI Network suggest each local project has in place (and is best practice anyway):
adequate insurance (public liability, volunteers, trustees, premises) - we have a link with Access, AON and Tennyson Insurance who offer competitive and discount rates to CNI Network groups (see below).
guidelines for volunteers to ensure they work to a high standard (see Volunteers Handbook);
appropriate training - this is best sourced locally and strengthens local links - CNI Network can help with this. See above for some Awareness Raising resources.
continued links and liaising with other agencies such as police, council, police and crime commissioner, other local CNI Network projects, other churches, etc;
joining of the CNI Network and a commitment to work with other projects locally, regionally and nationally through sharing of resources, news, prayer, ideas, etc.
If you are setting up a new group to oversee the work of Street Angels model objectives are:
a) To promote the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of the inhabitants of the borough of << Borough >>, << County >> and elsewhere in the UK, by, in particular but not exclusively by the provision of pastoral care and the formation of Street Angels Programme for the benefit of the local community of the borough of << Borough >> and elsewhere in the UK, without distinction of race, sex, political, religious or other opinion of the members of such community.
b) To support, care and treat persons in need who are homeless and suffering from the effects of poverty, sickness, disability, old age, alcoholism, drug addiction, offending behaviour, or any other mental or physical infirmity, as an expression of Christian faith.
A full version of our Memorandum / Articles of Association is here.
We also offer the option of becoming a Local Branch of the national CNI Network charity - more details are here.
Resources and Documents:
The Volunteers Handbook should form the main part of information given to volunteers. It should be presented in a way that is easy to read and ideally should cover the main areas a volunteer needs to be aware of. Below is a sample of the information you need to cover - this will need to be modified for a local project, agreed by a local project steering group and then made available for volunteers and on web sites, at the base, etc. The download (Word version) is below along with a sample booklet from Stockton Town Pastors.
When volunteers sign up to your project (this may be better as an online form on your website) include a statement around, "By submitting this form I will adhere to all the policies and procedures of << local group name >> and follow the guidance and direction of the coordinator and steering group."
We suggest that: we are unable to accept anyone as a Street Angel if they have been convicted of: any sexual offences; murder / manslaughter; Section 18 offences against the person; dealing in drugs. We have also agreed some areas for discretion if there has been a period of 3 years of NOT offending: burglary; theft; drugs use; minor public offences; other inditable offences. All volunteers must declare these on the Application Form and will need to undergo a DBS check.
CNI Network has links with Access Insurance:
Access Insurance offers a bespoke insurance package exclusive to CNI member organisations. They are a specialist charity insurance broker providing insurance and risk management solutions for over 6000 charities and ‘not for profit’ clients across the UK.
The insurance has been carefully selected to meet the requirements of CNI Projects. The basic cover includes Public Liability at £5M and Employers Liability at £10M, with premiums starting from £159.
Optional insurance covers that can be taken out includes: Trustee Indemnity Personal Accident Equipment or Stock Insurance (anywhere in the British Isles) Legal Expenses
Access is not only a Christian insurance brokerage, but also operates on social enterprise principles. For every insurance policy taken out by a member organisation, Access will make a donation to CNI Network.
Uniform - jacket of some description that is warm and water-proof and branded with Street Angels (1 per volunteer is ideal or a pool of shared jackets in mixed sizes). Several projects approach local businesses or churches to sponsor a jacket in return for "sponsored by" information, logo and web address on the jacket rear (we suggest £70 per uniform)
First Aid Kit - 11-20 persons Vomit Bags Vinyl free disposable gloves (first aid and picking up bottles) Foil Blankets (to keep people warm) - the bodywarmer from SurvivaWear is more suited to our needs! Torch (1 per team or LED baseball caps)
Reasonably priced flip-flops are available for around £1 at shops such as Primark, B&M, Poundland and Wilkinsons. We will post on Facebook and Twitter if one of these shops as a special deal on flip-flops!
VistaPrint is a good source of cheap business cards (and several other promotional items). Be careful about not signing up to monthly bonus clubs on the payment screen. Other printers / promotional companies who offer a good deal to CNI Network projects are Hollinger Print andPrintOut. We also suggest sourcing local companies as this will encourage them to get behind your project.
A web site can be produced for free using Weebly (this web site was created using Weebly). These days a Facebook page (not a profile) is essential and helps keep your project in the public eye through Status Updates which show on your followers wall. People do enjoy following pages as it helps show their support for the organisation. Twitter is another good way of sharing information and twitter feeds can appear on your website ensuring that is kept fresh.
Prayeris a key element to any project and is the reason why local projects see amazing changes within people and the community. Do encourage local churches and Christians to pray for you (if you can't walk the streets you can pray in bed!)
Your local project is ideally placed to start local prayer initiatives for Police, Council, needs in your area, NHS, Town Centre Management, etc and is a good way to show the faith aspect of your work by letting people know a prayer meeting is happening for them! Redeeming our Communities has several models of engaging with outside agencies including inviting Police to prayer gatherings to pray publicly for them. We also suggest prayer events and thank you events for your volunteers with Police, Local Authority, Police and Crime Commissioner, MP, Councillors, etc (and is a good way of promoting your work)
Please contact Paul Blakey MBE, founder of Street Angels - CNI Network - email / phone 07725 501465. Paul is happy to come and speak in your local area on the work and impact of Street Angels (travel expenses and accommodation to be met by the local group).
It is also a good idea to see for yourself what the needs are and at what times. Perceived problems are often different to reality. Talking to the Police / PCSO's would also help.
We know that a CNI project, and particularly Street Angels, can contribute much to a local area and many of the towns and cities where the project runs report significant reduction in violent crime, thousands of people being helped, amazing groups of volunteers who go above and beyond and increased respect for the church as people who offer and bring about real and lasting change...
The other patrol project model in the UK is Street Pastors who offer a "full franchise" with branding, uniforms, training, etc - visit the Street Pastors web sitefor more details.