Angels bring ‘Hope’ to the streets

Volunteers from Macclesfield Hope Street Angels, a voluntary organisation launched by Hope in North East Cheshire in 2012, were joined by local MP, David Rutley, recently as they worked in cold conditions to provide assistance to people in need in Macclesfield town centre.

Meeting at Hope Street Angels’ base at the United Reformed Church (URC) on Park Green, David joined Team Leader Peter Cliffe, and volunteers Andrew Melville, Lynne Kirby and Pam Simpson as they went onto the streets of Macclesfield town centre. Together with the management of Macclesfield town centre, Cheshire Constabulary and local pubs and clubs, the team provides help to people enjoying time out in the town centre on Saturday nights between 10.30 p.m. and 3.00 a.m, by giving directions or finding taxis; giving out free bottles of water and flip-flops; providing simple first aid and warm drinks at the URC; lending a listening ear to those in need; and referring more serious cases to the emergency services.

David also visited St Alban’s Church and met with volunteers at Winter Hope Accommodation in Macclesfield’s (WHAM) Night Shelter, as well as its co-ordinator, Deborah Bennett. The Night Shelter runs from December to March, with each of the six Macclesfield town centre churches involved providing shelter on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, and giving guests a meal on Friday and Sunday evening, and breakfast each day. Saturday evening meals are provided by the Treehouse Food Kitchen, a charity supported by Hope in North East Cheshire. David is a longstanding supporter of both Macclesfield Hope Street Angels and WHAM Night Shelter, having visited their services on several occasions.

One of the primary driving forces behind these initiatives was Rev David Wightman, whose sad passing in early January is a great loss to all those involved in Hope in North East Cheshire. However, his remarkable and positive work continues to be felt thanks to the ongoing commitment of Hope in North East Cheshire’s Street Angels and WHAM volunteers. Any local residents who are interested in taking part in these excellent initiatives should contact Pip Mosscrop, on pipmosscrop2@yahoo.co.uk

Speaking after his visit, David said, “It is always impressive to see the positive difference the Street Angels make by helping those in need in Macclesfield town centre. I would also like to thank the volunteers at the Night Shelter, for all of their work to support some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. I hope that other local residents will consider how they can support these invaluable services going forward.”

 

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