Oldham’s Street Angels: How the community ensure you have a great night out
So how does the community help out?
Many people across the UK enjoy heading out on the weekend, but how can the community help to ensure a safe night for all? And what can community members do to encourage having a good time whilst ensuring safety? We really enjoyed learning about a group of volunteers in Oldham who’ve created a wonderful initiative to help support the night-time partygoers.
The overall aim of the project is to keep people safe and demonstrate genuine pastoral care. Support can take the simple form of spending time talking to people, handing out bottles of water, sweeping up rubbish from the streets to prevent injury, or supporting anyone awaiting transport home. They’re called Oldham’s Street Angels, and that’s exactly how to picture them. Guardians of the night, a kind observer, a helping hand.
Oldham’s Street Angels formed in 2012 from the local parish church and were given a base by a local businessman free of charge. Now they’re 19 volunteers from all walks of life, a multi-faith group, who work every Saturday night from 11pm to 3am. It’s a scheme run and supported by Oldham Council and Greater Manchester Police and demonstrates a really creative response to questions about pastoral care.
Photo by Sandy Millar