Barrow's Saturday night Street Angels celebrate one year anniversary



Barrow Street Angels are a group of approximately 15 volunteers who go out in Barrow town centre in two teams of three every Saturday night.

Wearing orange hi-vis coats they patrol the Cavendish Street area until the early hours, and are often still out and about until 3.45am.

They distribute bottles of water, offer minor first aid and give out flip-flops to ladies who are struggling to walk in their high heels as well as offering lollies to people which helps build good public relations.

The good hearted Street Angels are also there to help distraught people and those requiring medical assistance as well as calling ambulances and putting people into a taxi home or to A&E.

Street Angels was formed when Reverend Sophie Carnaby, the chaplain for Cumbria Constabulary in Barrow, and Reverend Jonny Gios of Kendal Methodist Church, working  independently, had conversations with Police Superintendent Rob O’Connor and the Police and Crime Commissioner respectively. They began working together and invited Paul Blakey MBE of Christian Nightlife Initiatives Network to meet up to discuss the possibility of having Street Angels in Barrow. A collaboration between churches, charities, Barrow BID and other interested parties was formed and after relevant training, the Street Angels team was launched.

Paul Blakey MBE said:  ”Congratulations to Barrow Street Angels for their wonderful work over the last year. Thanks to the super volunteers for giving their time and care to people on a Saturday evening, and for helping to make Barrow town centre a safer place.”

Temporary Chief Superintendent Rob O’Connor was thrilled with the Street Angel’s ongoing success.

“In early 2017 the idea of having the Street Angels in the Barrow area was first discussed, and it has gone from strength to strength since then. I am full of admiration, and gratitude, to all the Street Angels who give up their Saturday nights and other nights over Christmas and Bank Holiday weekends for free, for the good of the people of Barrow.

“Without doubt the Street Angels has been a fantastic success. Not only have they saved my officers and other statutory services time by being there and dealing with people who have lost their friends or are the worst for wear, their presence also seems to have a calming influence on the crowd.
 
“As the Street Angels approach their first anniversary, I would like to publically thank them, not only on behalf of Cumbria Constabulary, but also on behalf of the wider public of the Barrow area who come into Barrow on a Saturday night to enjoy the night time economy in a safe environment, and the Street Angels make a significant contribution to that.
 
“These are a small group, and for it to continue to be a success I would encourage people to make contact with the Barrow Street Angels with a view to assisting them by offering up some of your time, as it is incredibly rewarding, and I am genuinely humbled by the service they deliver.”
 
Reverend Sophie Carnaby, Barrow Street Angels Co-ordinator added

“Our aims include reducing violence and antisocial behaviour on a Saturday night, helping to reduce unnecessary ambulance callouts and A&E visits. We find that providing flip flops helps too, by helping to prevent people from falling over or cutting their feet if walking barefoot. We also clear up any broken glass which helps to reduce potential injuries. Another aim is to ensure that people get home safely, so we often assist people to taxis and ensure that vulnerable people are not taken advantage of, thereby hopefully reducing thefts, assaults and other incidents.

“We use a borrowed minibus as a base and store for our supplies. We have been operational for twelve months now and most of us thoroughly enjoy our shifts. Our youngest Street Angel is in his early 20’s and the oldest is in his early 80’s. We are currently looking for an indoor base from which we can help people who may require medical assistance or help.  Premises near to Cavendish Street would be ideal and we need it for a duration of four months. We need somewhere we can use between the hours of 11pm and 4am, which is when we are out and about.”

If you can offer a base for the Street Angels or you would like to join the team you can contact Sophie Carnaby by email: s.carnaby@hotmail.co.uk 





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