Words and photo by Dave Barry
A church project to protect vulnerable people at night and provide facilities for young people is flourishing.
The Angels project was launched several years ago by Churches Together in Scarborough.
“We see it as all of us working together - the churches, the police and the local council”, explains Paul Abell, who chairs the Street Angels and is the senior leader of the Kingdom Faith Yorkshire Trust, the charity behind the Angels.
Superintendent Alaister Dey of Scarborough police says the Angels are a vital part of keeping people safe.
Based at the Summit in St Nicholas Street, the initiative is run by volunteers from various churches, although some aren’t churchgoers.
The Angels work in close partnership with the local community and other local charities and agencies such as the Rainbow Centre.
As part of these partnerships, groups such as Young Carers Resource and Sash make use of the Summit building.
Local organisations that could benefit from the use of the building are welcome to apply.
The Street Angels help vulnerable people on weekend nights.
“We're out on the streets late on a weekend night to be there for people when we're needed, particularly those who are vulnerable or in difficulty”, a spokesperson says.
Wearing distinctive blue jackets, they are a visible presence on the streets, helping to improve the safety of people using bars, restaurants, theatres and public transport.
The spokesperson adds: “Through our work, we've seen a reduction in street crime and antisocial behaviour, and an increase in effective use of the emergency services”.
The Youth Angels is a weekly youth club, run on Friday evenings at the Summit.
Up to 50 teenagers engage in socialising, craft, games and other activities.
“We also have teams out on the streets, engaging young people and offering positive alternative life choices for those who need that help”, the spokesperson says.
“We dare to dream that we can make a positive difference in the lives of young people”.
Youth Angels aim to reduce the number of young people who may be tempted by alcohol and drug abuse, crime and anti-social behaviour.
“We aim to be part of making our town a safe and welcoming environment for all generations, including reducing levels of fear. We aim to foster community - not a sense of us and them, but a sense of 'this is our town' that is cross-generational”.