CNI Network: A night in the life of Leeds Street Angels

Leeds Street Angels began in February 2012 and since then have been out on patrol on the city’s streets Friday and some Saturday nights for the past 7 years. Working from 10pm until 3am we have a priceless opportunity to be a key part of making the city a safer place for everyone to enjoy. Our aim is to show the love of Jesus through care and compassion to anyone who is or could become vulnerable, this includes those who are unwell, lost, distressed or confused.

This year we’ve also covered Bank Holiday Sundays as our volunteers were keen to have a patrol on these busy nights, so one Bank Holiday Sunday night in May the team left the tea and coffee behind and headed out into the night-life. Immediately the team were radioed to a local supermarket where a 14-year-old girl, on her own, had been intending to walk the 5 miles home but had become lost in the city and approached the security staff. After attempting to contact a relative with no success the team accompanied her to the British Transport Police office nearby where officers were able to help.

A couple of hours went by, it was after midnight and the team were approached by a man, shirt torn who explained someone had attempted to mug him. Glad to find a safe place in the company of the Street Angels he phoned his friend who arranged to meet him. The team offered to accompany him to the arranged meeting place but the man declined, he assured them he was OK and headed off down the street.

It was 1.45am. The team noticed a young girl looking lost on one of the busy streets lined with bars. The street is a busy one where people are continually spilling out onto the pavement and she was trying to find the taxi she had booked. The Street Angels stayed with her and helped her to find it, making sure the number plate matched the booking order.

Things were quietening down and it was a 2am finish for the Street Angels on this night.

On another patrol night, our Street Angels helped John* who was found lying on the ground. We spent an hour reassuring him we were there to help and waited with him until some of the effects of the alcohol he had consumed had worn off. The team later made the decision to call an ambulance for support as he shared concerns with them regarding his mental health.

Earlier in the year, we met Frank* who walked straight over to our team and asked for help as he was intending to end his life. The Street Angels walked with him to A&E. Frank* was feeling very anxious and felt he wanted to leave A&E. A member of our team continued to talk with him, reassuring him so that security staff didn’t have to intervene and after two hours were able to leave him safely at A&E as he had fallen asleep in a chair.

Many of our volunteers are Christians and we believe there is someone who knows the outcome, who cares about each and every person at every moment, and ‘We love because he first loved us’ 1 John 4:19 K.J.V.

June 1st-7th was Volunteers’ Week 2019 and we want to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers who truly are amazing, staying up late to help ensure others stay safe. Our Street Angels help people out on the streets in a constantly changing and unpredictable environment and we know we probably won’t see or hear again from those we help. But if we have helped one person through a moment of crisis amidst the flip flops, water and lollies that we hand out we consider our job well done. #VolunteersAreAmazing

*names have been changed