Happy 14th Birthday Street Angels!

Happy 14th Birthday!

Just over 14 years ago we had this thought that the ‘Wild West of West Yorkshire’, Halifax town centre on a weekend evening, needed people who care to offer love and support to those who became vulnerable. As Christians we believed our town centre deserved better than this Wild West image! We approached Churches Together and the YMCA with the idea of opening a cafe they ran between 9pm and 3am on Friday and Saturday nights. They said yes! We then approached the police who said an even bigger YES and asked if we could start something 2 weeks later – Friday 25th November 2005 (the start of the busier Christmas season and the day the licensing laws changed).

We said ok – not much else happens for people involved in church communities at this time of year! Our initial aim was to run a safe place drop-in cafe. A team of 6 committed to this and we turned up not having a clue what we were doing or what to expect! Amazingly 50 people turned up that night to volunteer – people from church communities across Halifax who believed our town deserved better than the binge drink, sexual assaults and violence that seemed to be so prevalent on weekend nights.

With too many people to just sit in our small cafe we decided (with permission from the police) to offer patrols alongside the safe place drop-in and Street Angels was born!

It worked! Helping over 60 people in our first 6 weeks and with Police, Home Office, media, business, church and community support we carried on once our 6 week trial was over.

This simple idea to help our town centre contributed to a 42% reduction in violent crime within 12 months! Other town and city centres were watching and started to visit to see Street Angels in action. By the end of 2007 we had supported 26 communities to set up similar projects with much of this growth coming via Police and Local Government encouragement to the local church to replicate what they are doing in Halifax!

In July 2008 we started the Christian Nightlife Initiatives Network – we sensed that what we were about was bigger than a name (Street Angels) and we wanted to offer support and resources as well as celebrate all that God was doing through His church, community partners and volunteers in the night-time economy. By the end of 2008 we had grown to 36 projects within the CNI Network family and 29 interested towns across the UK and overseas. We also connected in 2010 with the amazing NightLight in Northern Ireland and Street Chaplains in Scotland who were running long before us!

Our journey is an amazing story of faithfulness to a vision and the willingness to grow and develop as the vision increases.

We are now at around 130 local projects – working on the streets, in clubs, at festivals, around train stations, at sporting events, with communities and with young people.

Collectively the CNI Network family have: received awards; met with Royalty and Prime Ministers; expanded the concept; become one of the 21st century missionary movements as we export overseas; featured on TV, radio, magazines and newspapers; held several conferences and receptions; seen crime and anti-social behaviour reduced; and, most importantly, equipped thousands of volunteers to impact local communities and people through the simplicity of loving the person in front of them!

As we celebrate 14 years, and enter our 15th year, CNI Network honours and thanks all those who are within our family – all those who volunteer, pray, support, organise, fundraise and keep quiet on Saturday and Sunday mornings to allow those who have volunteered to sleep!

CNI Network is the church and community working together to help make our streets like new again. We have helped and assisted tens of thousands of people, picked up tens of thousands of bottles, handed out countless pairs of flip-flops and stopped numerous fights with the offer of a lollipop! Thank you to all who are part of the 14 year adventure!

Paul Blakey MBE – founder / CEO Street Angels, CNI Network

​For more information visit http://www.cninetwork.org

(Cartoon drawn by one of our own Northallerton Street Angels -Chris Bambrough)

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Year of Angels sees Saturday night crime drop by 30 percent

2 July 2017 marked the first anniversary of the launch of Northallerton Street Angels.

Since their introduction on 2 July 2016, figures show that crime and antisocial behaviour on a Saturday night has dropped by 30 percent in the town.

The Street Angels are volunteers who patrol Northallerton on a Saturday night to provide reassurance and support for anyone in need of help.

The scheme was launched with funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, and in partnership with New Life Baptist Church, Safer Hambleton Hub, and Churches Together Northallerton, as a preventative measure to help stop situations escalating to the point where the emergency services need to intervene.

Sergeant Simon Wilson of Northallerton Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “The scheme has been a phenomenal success and is a superb example of what can be achieved through working in partnership. My thanks go to everyone involved, not least the Angels who volunteer their own time – without them it would not be possible. Alcohol consumption plays a major part in crime and antisocial behaviour, and by providing support to vulnerable people, including those suffering from the effects of drink, the Angels provide much needed help and refuge, relieving the pressure on the police service and preventing things from getting out of hand.”

Pastor Steve Cowie of Northallerton New Life Baptist Church and the chair of Northallerton Street Angels, said: “The Street Angels project has really touched the hearts of so many within our church and in the wider community. It’s been inspiring to work with our partners from the police and local councils to get this off the ground so efficiently and smoothly. The success at all levels within our community has been beyond our expectations and all our team feel it a privilege to serve our town in this way. So, onwards and upwards for the Angels of Northallerton.”

The Angels are recognisable from their distinct black and orange uniform.

Over the year the Angels have come to the aid of many people, including:

  •  A 13-year-old girl found collapsed in a doorway. The Angels took her to their base where she was given medical treatment by ambulance staff. The girl’s parents were traced and she was taken home safely.
  • A drunk woman was being pestered by a group of men who she didn’t know who wanted to take her home. The Angels came to her rescue and took her to a taxi rank where she was sent safely on her way home.
  • Two girls were seen staggering down an alley with bleeding, bare feet. They were taken back to base where they received medical treatment and were given flip-flops.
  • A man was found asleep in a doorway. It transpired he had travelled from out of the area and had become separated from his friends in Club Amadeus. The Angels took him back to base, gave him a warm drink and asked the club’s DJ to issue a message on the sound system. A short time later his friends turned up to collect him.

Saturday night crime and antisocial behaviour figures – Northallerton

In the year prior to the launch of the Street Angels there were 43 violent crimes and five incidents of antisocial behaviour recorded on a Saturday night.

In the year from 2 July 2016 – 2 July 2017, there were 28 violent crimes and three incidents of antisocial behaviour recorded on a Saturday night.

Total crime for the same periods was  94 incidents, followed by 66 incidents the following year. A reduction of 28 incidents.

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First Anniversary Celebrations

This gallery contains 19 photos.

Northallerton Street Angels celebrated their 1st year anniversary on 2 July 2017.  A special Celebration Service was held at the New Life Baptist Church in Northallerton to mark the occasion. The service was attended by special guests including Rishi Sunak … Continue reading

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Celebration Event – 2 July

Northallerton Street Angels have been working in our town centre for almost a year, and we are delighted to announce our first-year anniversary service to celebrate this.

The Northallerton Street Angels Celebration service is being held at New Life Baptist Church on Sunday 2 July 2017 at 10.30am, at which many of our volunteers will be present.

This date is significant as it will mark exactly one year to the day since the Northallerton Street Angels began patrolling the town on a Saturday night.

We would like to invite all residents of Northallerton to the service which will finish at 11.45 am after which there will be refreshments. During the service we will hear from North Yorkshire Police and a number of other organisations and individuals within the town who have seen the benefits of the Street Angel patrols.

Northallerton Street Angels now have around 40 volunteers from all parts of the local community who care sufficiently for our town to take on the voluntary role of Street Angels. The teams are now seen to be part of the ‘fixtures and fittings’ of the town and are approached by many needing help or support on a Saturday night.  The community and business feedback has been phenomenal and we are very much looking forward to celebrating the team’s achievement at this special service.

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234 miles, 15 CNI local projects, 3 days, 2 men, 2 bikes!

Well done and thanks to Steve Brock and Andy Fox for completing the cycle challenge. Read the report and see more pictures here.

Please do consider sponsoring them (for CNI Network) visit Make A Donation or text DUCK22 £amount to 70070.

The final leg – Ripon to Northallerton to meet some of the Northallerton Street Angels who are celebrating 12 months on the streets next month! 234 miles over 3 days. The team visited 15 local CNI projects and were able to pray for the towns and for the work that our teams carry out. We saw iconic locations and cycled along some of the most challenging roads in England. They have raised (so far) around £800 for CNI Network. Thanks to all who have supported, given, clapped, cheered and encouraged and most of all to Steve and Andy!

 

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New uniform for our Angels?

Our very talented Street Angel, Chris Bambrough, has designed our latest cartoon – I’m not sure our Street Angels will go for the new uniform!!

 

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Intrepid Duo Supporting Street Angels

An intrepid duo are taking part in a 234 mile cycle challenge to raise funds and awareness of CNI (Christian Nightlife Initiatives) Network and its local projects in the North East of England.

Starting at South Tyneside at 9.30am on Friday 9th June, Steve Brock and Andy Fox will visit fifteen Street Angel projects before finishing at 4.30pm in Northallerton on Sunday 11th June.

The ride will take in several iconic locations across the region including the Angel of the North, Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge, Whitby Abbey and York Minster alongside various challenging hills.

At each of the stops it is planned to meet up with local volunteers and celebrate the work of work and impact of Street Angels on weekend evenings. Accompanying the duo in a support vehicle will be founder of Street Angels and CNI Network Paul Blakey MBE.

Steve Brock, one of the cyclists and a trustee of CNI Network, comments, “This cycle ride is a great way to meet fifteen of our local projects and the amazing teams of volunteers who give so much to our region. We will also be fundraising for the ongoing national work of CNI Network and encouraging the local projects to use this event as a way of raising local funds and profile. Although the route will be a challenge at times, Andy and myself are looking forward to it!”

The cycle ride is also paving the way for a North East regional conference to be held at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium on Thursday 29th June between 12noon and 9pm with training sessions, opportunity to meet volunteers from across the area and a celebration dinner.

For more information and to sponsor Steve and Andy visit www.cninetwork.org/cycle

Timetable of the Route:

Day 1 – Friday 9th June 2017:
9.30am – 10am – South Tyneside
10.50am – 11.05am – Angel of the North, Durham Road, Gateshead, NE9 6AA
11.55am – 12.15pm – Durham
1.40pm – 2.25pm – Hartlepool Art Gallery, Christchurch, Church Square, Hartlepool, TS24 7EQ
3.25pm – 3.40pm – Stockton Infinity Bridge, TS18 2NL
4.00pm – 4.15pm – Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge / Riverside Stadium, TS3 6RS
5.00pm – 5.15pm – Redcar Beacon (on the seafront), 1 Newcomen Terrace, TS10 1AT
6.00pm – 6.15pm – Guisborough Market Place, Westgate, TS14 6AN
The pair will then cycle up the hill to Birk Brow Car Park!

Day 2 – Saturday 10th June 2017:

9.30am – leave Birk Brow Car Park
11am – 11.15am – Whitby, at the Whalebone Arch, North Terrace, YO21 3HA
12.50pm – 1.35pm – Scarborough, at The Summit, 4 St Nicholas’ Street, YO11 2HF
2.55pm – 3.10pm – Bridlington on the Promenade by The Spa, South Marine Drive, YO15 3JH
5.15pm – 5.30pm – Malton, in front of St Michael’s Church, Market Square, YO17 7LP

Day 3 – Sunday 11th June 2017:

9.30am – leave Malton Market Square, YO17 7LP
11am – 11.15am – York Minster, outside by Dean’s Park entrance on Precentor’s Court
1pm – 1.45pm – Harrogate, the gardens opposite Betty’s Tea Rooms, Montpellior Parade, HG1 2QU
2.40pm – 2.55pm – Ripon, The Obelisk in Market Square, Ripon
4.15pm – 4.30pm – Northallerton – in front of the Town Hall, High Street, DL7 8QR

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Christmas Cartoon

We are privileged at Northallerton Street Angels to have such a talented cartoonist – Chris Bambrough – volunteer for us…this is his latest creation for Christmas!

christmas-cartoon

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Street Angels Newsletter

christmasNorthallerton Street Angels have produced a newsletter to give you a flavour of the work that they are undertaking.

Newsletters will be published every quarter so check back regularly for the latest news about Northallerton Street Angels.

Read the Christmas Newsletter2016 here.

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Street Angels Christmas Tree

christmas-tree-2Over the weekend of 3 and 4 December, Northallerton Street Angels displayed their own Christmas Tree at the All Saints C of E Church Christmas Tree festival.  Alongside the Tree, Street Angel volunteers were offering information and advice about the scheme to all of the visitors.  The Tree was a fantastic effort by the Angels and looked spectacular.

christmas-tree-1

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