Street Angels to patrol Plymouth protecting teenagers from drink and drugs
A GROUP of 'street angels' could soon be patrolling Plymouth to offer help and support to young people.
Our Place Our Base, a not-for-profit youth and community organisation, is appealing for people to join its Acquiesce Street Crew to educate youngsters in Stoke, Devonport and Torpoint about the dangers of drink and drugs.
The group needs about 20 volunteers, who would be given full training and CRB checks, to be out on the streets on Friday and Saturday nights.
They would be there to help people find their way home, to provide warm clothing and to call the emergency services if necessary.
Co-ordinator Rachel Gibson said: "We came up with this idea about two years ago, we felt more needed to be done in terms of youth work, meeting young people where they are rather then getting them into a building where there are lots of overheads.
"Young people are on social media and they are also on the streets, that is where youth work is needed."
Mrs Gibson says she was inspired by reading about Jordan Cobb, the 16-year-old who lost his life after he jumped from the Torpoint ferry crossing the River Tamar on New Year's Eve.
"When we read about Jordan Cobb straight away it rang bells to projects we already had in mind," she said.
"We don't know exactly what happened with Jordan, but maybe if there had been youth workers around at the time it would have been different."
The group needs volunteers to work in shifts, and has already attracted interest from people of all ages.
Mrs Gibson said: "If somebody is lying on the street and nobody is aware that they are there, we can contact people, we can let the emergency services know and we can support people."
She wants to raise about £1,000 through donations to cover the cost of training and resources, and is hoping the volunteers will be on the streets within weeks.
"Young people prefer to talk to people who are not the police, don't have a legal umbrella," Mrs Gibson said.
"They find it's easier to talk to us about things like drink, drugs and sex."
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/pages/Acquiesce-Street-Crew