6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Berkshire & Buckinghamshire Life today click here

Meeting the Street Angels of Windsor

PUBLISHED: 16:25 16 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:29 16 April 2018

PCSO David Bullock with some of the Street Angels preparing to set off with their kit

PCSO David Bullock with some of the Street Angels preparing to set off with their kit

Maureen McLean

Jan Raycroft and Maureen McLean meet the people who take to our streets to help others when most of us are tucked up in bed

It’s dark and chilly, but at least there’s no rain or sleet falling as the clock ticks past midnight. Not that such weather conditions would stop the small team who had set off earlier from the warmth of Windsor’s Baptist Church from heading out on a tour of the Royal town centre through the small hours of Friday and Saturday nights to perhaps 3.30am, which would definitely not be the choice of the daytime tourists.

Half a dozen at most, they are greeted at familiar stopping off points by those who know them – perhaps security staff outside a nightclub or homeless people grateful for a hot drink, soup or simply a quick chat. Others, in the main young people out for a night on the town and sometimes seeming to have left their coats at home, dance and skip past on their way to another venue.

If it wasn’t for their blue high-viz jackets the people we are accompanying for part of their walk around Windsor might well be mistaken for very late night shoppers. For the Windsor street Angels are carrying bags filled with everything from water to phone chargers, flip flops for any young ladies who’ve had to discard pinching high heels, lollipops, drinks and snacks, blankets, and even a defibrillator, donated by south Central Ambulance service… just in case.

They’ve been doing this for six years now and thousands of people have been helped. In a typical year they deal with 4,000 of us, distribute 1,000 pairs of flip flops, 600 bottles of water, make 47 referrals to other agencies and calm 73 situations.

Earlier, in the church before heading off, they had been briefed by street Angels co-ordinator Police Community support Officer David Bullock. “I won’t be going out with them, I’m off back to work at the station after this chat,” he explains. “The scheme will always work best if any connection to the police is at arms-length. We might advise about anything we’ve heard, but many of the situations they come across are best resolved without the presence of a police uniform. The Angels often diffuse things so that we are not needed.”

He’s right. For instance, girls crying because they’ve fallen out with boyfriends, or lost their pals and the phone to contact them, most require a friendly, adult face, not the increasingly stretched long arm of the law.

And while the town’s Street Angels scheme may have welcome connections to Windsor Christian Action, you don’t have to be ‘churchy’ to start training as a volunteer. Indeed, chatting to the team on our night, it’s clear you can have any, or no, religious leanings. One such trainee, Lisa from Old Windsor, was actually on her first shift observing the team’s work on the night we joined them: “I’m a mum of two children, 12 and 15 and safely at home right now. Life’s good and I’ve been looking ‘to give something back’. this could be it, really interesting and I might just do one Friday night a month.”

Young people and alcohol can be a bad mix, but it’s not just youngsters losing the plot or their friends on pay day nights. The Angels have assisted older people having panic attacks, medical emergencies or simply anxiety over lost directions. Even so, for those of us who go to bed watching the clock while our own family’s youngsters are ‘out on the town’ it’s reassuring to know that some other welcoming faces are also out there in case of emergencies. The Angels have first aid training – a handy skill for life in general – but it’s often a listening ear which provides the best ‘medicine’. But they are quite used to ‘patching up’ those who’ve fallen over or ended up physically the worse for wear.

Any such scheme has its running costs and this one very much relies on local charities, including support since its inception from the likes of the Michael Shanly Foundation, Radian Housing, the Edith Murphy Foundation, Prince Philip trust, Windsor and Maidenhead Christian Trust, Windsor Baptist Church, RBWM and Thames Valley Police.

Could you be a Street Angel?

People from all walks of life have joined, and more are welcome. It doesn’t suit everyone – as one Angel told us, his wife had attended as an observer and decided it wasn’t for her. But many discover it’s the ‘perfect fit’ as a volunteer and can’t wait for their next shift.

You have to be over 18 and prepared to patrol Windsor in a team from around 9.30pm to perhaps 4.30am on Friday nights and Saturday ‘pay days’. There’s no minimum commitment, some volunteers have lifestyles which see them on regular rotas while others fit in around their other commitments.

To find out more call David on 07816 848231 email wcastreetangels@gmail.com and see streetangelswindsor.org


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Yesterday, 15:37

Maureen McLean shares two favourites where you definitely can’t park right outside and might even need a boat – or at least some good walking shoes

Read more
Yesterday, 14:58

Your school or community organisation can apply now for a pack of free native species trees, all ready to plant as a local legacy

Read more
Friday, July 13, 2018

Come in, the water’s lovely - we select our top spots to enjoy eating and drinking while watching the world float by

Read more
Friday, July 13, 2018

A look back at some of the best Berkshire photography shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Monday, July 9, 2018

We select our top Berkshire spots to enjoy eating and drinking while watching the world float by

Read more
Monday, July 9, 2018

From the mighty Gladiator, through some Dirty Dancing to Pretty Woman... take your pick from a host of classic and more recent big screen spectaculars

Read more
Friday, July 6, 2018

The town beside the Thames is always a delight in summer – but July/August 2018 is particularly spectacular with a host of events which define the social season

Read more
Monday, July 2, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Berkshire this month

Read more
Monday, July 2, 2018

We are truly blessed here in Buckinghamshire with locations perfect for every Instagram addict

Read more
Monday, July 2, 2018

We round up some of the best events and things to do across Buckinghamshire this month

Read more
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

It may be known for its regal connections, but Windsor is also home to a number of restaurants and pubs fit for royalty. We round up some of the best…

Read more
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Be warned, if you visit Twyford there’s every chance you will end up staying there. It happened to our editor, and she’s not the only one

Read more
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

With the North Wessex Downs, Windsor’s Long Walk and a whole host of beautiful towns and villages, Berkshire is an amazing place for a stroll

Read more
Monday, June 18, 2018

Follow these style rules to enjoy your time at racing’s ultimate day out and make sure you have the perfect hat for those glamorous photos and to turn heads in the stands

Read more
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Life weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Berkshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search