Friday, 12 August 2022

'Angels' need a place to rest

A BASE is needed for volunteer “street angels” in Henley.

The town council is to launch a scheme where volunteers help protect people on nights out who are vulnerable or at risk due to excessive drinking.

Teams will go out in the town centre from 9pm to 3am to tackle minor incidents, enabling police officers to deal with more serious ones.

They will operate on the busiest nights of the year, such as the Friday and Saturday during Henley Royal Regatta and the Henley Festival.

Councillor David Eggleton, who is running the scheme with Deputy Mayor Lorraine Hillier, said the street angels would need somewhere to take breaks but couldn’t use the police station for security reasons.

Councillor David Nimmo Smith suggested asking the 60-Plus Club for permission to use its building in Greys Road car park.

Cllr Eggleton said he would ask Henley police inspector Mark Harling about shadowing other street angels to help with understanding the role.

He said: “We are going to trial a few Friday and Saturday nights. We will probably go out all night on one of those nights then scale it back, depending on when we are needed.”

Twelve people are set to be trained initially. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, fairly fit and good at engaging with people. A first aid certificate would be useful.

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