Traditionally Street Angels are a group of Christians that head out each Friday and Saturday night in various towns all over the country to help the drunk and disorderly, offering first aid, flip-flops and lollipops but also ensuring that people keep the peace and make it home safely.
Staines Street Angels are a little bit different, we no longer have the need to help the drunk and disorderly as Staines no longer has an active nightlife. We instead focus our efforts on helping the homeless and vulnerable in our town. We walk a minimum of three nights per week from 9 pm to 12 am with the aim of finding and helping those who may need us. We are equipped with a first aid kit, hot soup and bread, water, a sleeping bag, lollies (some habits die hard) and of course, our great personality's to which we use to entice clients into the 'Drop In' service.
The 'Free Will Project' was set up by members of Staines Baptist Church in order to aid the Staines Street Angels. The idea is that Street Angels will make contact with a person in need and the Free Will Project's 'Drop In' service will then offer them the pastoral care, food, water and access to services that they require. The Project aims to bridge the gap between the local council and clients who find it difficult to express themselves or who may require a video call interview instead of face to face. The service also helps clients with a 'care of address', assistance with filling in forms and paperwork as well as helping clients get their identification sorted so they can then be efficiently assisted by the council's housing team.
The Free Will Project and Staines Street Angel's have identified a need to help and support the homeless and vulnerable within the Staines area and between the two have created a solid network of supplies and services. This cooperated service is ultimately governed and supported by the Staines Baptist Church who has called this the homeless ministry and has opted to sponsor some of the equipment required as well as us giving us free access to their church hall for the Drop-In service and storage of equipment.