Angels arrive in Surrey

Camberley Street Angels

Camberley Street Angels

Churches Together in Camberley and some 300 guests and local dignitaries welcomed the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton to the borough last Sunday to celebrate the launch of a 'heavenly' new community safety initiative.

The Camberley Street Angels scheme, set up by  the local Churches Together with support from the Safer Surrey Heath Partnership, will see groups of volunteers out and about in the town centre on Fridays between 10pm and 3am offering a calming presence and practical support to people in need.

Wearing distinctive jackets, Street Angels carry items to assist anyone who may be having a problem. Among practical things such as plasters for blisters, foil blankets for the lightly dressed facing a long walk home in the wet, and flip flops for girls with sore feet, they will also have lollipops which can be popular with revellers. Volunteers are happy to spend time talking with people and are able to advise of specialist agencies who can provide ongoing assistance if required. Street Angels work with the support of, and in partnership with, other agencies working in the town centre at night and have connecting links by radio with each other, the team base, CCTV and the police.

The launch celebrations, hosted by the Mayor of Surrey Heath, Cllr Craig Fennell,  included a commissioning service for 29 Street Angel volunteers, conducted by Bishop Kieran Conry.

Volunteer Steve Isherwood, Camberley Street Angels Co-ordinator, said: "I have lived in the Camberley area for much of the last 20 years and retired from the Army last year. I am an active member of St Paul's Church and a supporter of local churches' practical involvement in the community. When the appeal for Street Angel volunteers was made one Sunday morning at church I felt it was a God given opportunity for me to use my time to benefit others."

Other guests at the launch included the Lord Lieutenant Sarah Goad JP, the High Sheriff Lady Elisabeth Toulson, Surrey Police Divisional Commander Helen Collins, Surrey Heath Borough Council Chief Executive Michael Willis, and the team from the Young Entrepreneurs at Tomlinscote School who designed the Camberley Street Angels logo for the jackets.

Commenting on behalf of the Safer Surrey Heath Partnership, Inspector James Norbury said: "Street Angels is a fantastic way of enabling people who care about others to do just that. Working alongside officers from our neighbourhood policing team, Street Angels have the ability to make a positive impact on antisocial behaviour in Camberley town centre. For instance, the Angels will take care of intoxicated people who police officers might otherwise have to look after - freeing us to deal with more serious offences."

Street Angels have been arriving in a number of cities around the country recently. For more information see:

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