The Oldham Street Angels welcomed a new recruit on Saturday night, as Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner got an insight into a night on Yorkshire Street and the work of the volunteers.
Tony Lloyd joined the Angels on a walkabout in the town centre until the early hours to learn more about the group’s work.
The scheme is run by Oldham Town Centre Chaplaincy, and operates from a base on Yorkshire Street every Saturday night, working alongside the police to keep visitors to the clubs and bars safe.
Tony shadowed the Angels as they patrolled the town centre, cleaning up broken glass, speaking to doormen and helping vulnerable revellers.
“This is a really worthwhile service, that provides a helping hand to the police and, importantly, makes visitors to the town centre feel safer,” said Tony.
The Commissioner also praised the close working relationship between the Angels, the police and the local Pub and Club Watch.
“They are not substitute police, but they can help to diffuse many situations,” adds Tony. “They help vulnerable people get home, and where people have got into difficulty they can help minimise harm and provide a safe place to go.”
An example shared with Tony was when police asked one of the volunteers to help with a young man who was worse for wear and had become irate. The lady was able to calm him down and accompanied him to the bus station – where the man said she was like ‘the granny he never had’.
Reverend Jean Hurlston, Street Angels Co-ordinator, said: “We were delighted that the Commissioner was able to join us and see for himself how the police, council and community are working together, supporting one another to benefit local people.”