We have a fascinating time each time we are out with Woking Street Angels. This report I did gives you a flavour of the evening (from 10pm til 4am) and what we get up to. NB names have been changed to protect individuals) and the pictures are 'lifted' from the the WSA website.
Saturday night was a routinely active night, with nothing exceptional. Bed Bar had a full house as usual. There were a couple of fights outside Yates and BED.......which the police responded to.
We were 3 teams (7 in total). We devised a new rota at request of team members, to enable us all to be out for the last hour. We changed the rest times to one of half hour and one of an hour (normally we do 2 hours on and one hour off)
A number of incidents:
· Grace was distressed and feeling unwell and cold. She was with a girl friend who was really helpful (and not drunk). We used a fleece blanket to get her warm, gave her flipflops and water. One of the female angels escorted her to loo at Woking Hotel, who were really helpful... (‘Spoons would let her in). She phoned her boyfriend who came to pick her up in his car from Twickenham. We gave her a space blanket to keep warm for the journey home.
· Spoke to young couple outside Yates who seemed genuinely interested in becoming street Angels.
· The Town Marshalls also explained what they do, whihc is basically keeping an eye on licensing arrangements - taxis and bars.
· I had spoken to someone from church who pre-warned us about a homeless man called Alan (Greenish army jacket, close cropped grey hair, with an army camouflaged rucksack) who she met at LarkinthePark @ GoldsworthPark. He is epileptic and has to take medicine and thinks YorkRoad can't look after the medicine. Team 1 met him and John reported they put him on a train to Guildford cos he wanted to go for the soup kitchen there to take his medicine with food. The Railway staff really helpful and let him on train free.
· Raymond just out from a Drug Rehab and wants to volunteer as a WSA.....
· Team 2 helped a guy retrieve his jacket from Yates.At end of shift there was a girl under canopy on her own who said she was going to walk home. Carol (team 3) felt she was very vulnerable (young, pretty, tipsey, alone) so we negotiated a taxi for her, using some of the money from WSA kitty...
Positives: Lots of friendly banter with doormen, taxidrivers, Fastfood staff and Town Marshalls
I had a very helpful conversation with the Pakistani taxi Driver, Mohammad, who had helped with difficult incident on Sat 9th Feb (which was used as a case discussion in Team Leaders meeting on 26Mar) He explained how on the way home the man had wanted a wee and had fallen in the bushes. It was very hard to get him back in the cab and back home. The taxi driver explained how he knew the couple, who were ‘travellers’ and were very ‘difficult’ … He had tried to ring me but had written down the number wrong.
I also met Mickey (who was out celebrating his 31st b/day) who had been assaulted last time I was on duty near to the Galaxy cabs stand. (May18) A Paramedic had been called by a passing bouncer and was on the scene quickly. He had been excellent. And Mickey had later gone to hospital for check up with potential concussion, but was OK. He said it happens to him often, although he does not go looking for trouble. There was one bad assault in S’ampton – when some youths bad-mouthed his girlfriend and he stood up to them and ended up with kicks in the head and needing a pin in a broken elbow. He was a sensitive chat and talked openly about his own depression and how he helps with IT at a club for mentally ill. It was the most significant conversation of the evening for me.
I felt these 2 stories had a sense of (partial) completion, which you don’t often get......
Almost a case of all's well that ends well