Mayoral candidates join the Village Angels on weekend patrol
Published: 31 January 2017 Tags: vilage angels, canal street, safety By John Walding
Candidates in the running to become Greater Manchester’s first metro mayor are set to go on patrol with LGBT Foundation’s Village Angels in Manchester’s world-famous Gay Village.
Jane Brophy, Liberal Democrat candidate, was the first of the prospective candidates to join the Village Angels volunteers on Canal Street on 27th January to see first-hand the vital support the service provides to weekend revellers. Over the coming weeks the Angels will be joined by other candidates including Sean Anstee, and Andy Burnham.
The Angels patrol the Village every weekend from 9pm to 3am, providing friendly help, support and advice to people who have got into trouble.
Paul Martin OBE, LGBT Foundation Chief Executive, said: “Policing and community safety will be a crucial responsibility for the new mayor. We wanted to invite all the candidates to come along and see for themselves the important role the Village Angels play in ensuring the safety of the LGBT Community.
“Manchester’s Gay Village is renowned the world over as a place where people are free to be themselves, and for most people a night out in the Village is a fun, safe experience. But for some, a great night out can go wrong and that’s why the Angels are there.
“In their bright pink hi-viz jackets, they’re a visible, friendly face of the Village and an integral part of Manchester’s LGBT community. Most importantly of all, there are people alive today as a result of their vital work.”
Since the service began in 2012, thousands of Village visitors have been touched by an Angel. As well as providing simple support like giving directions, helping people to a taxi, or reconnecting lost friends, Angels regularly carry out life-saving interventions.
The LGBT Foundation project receives funding from Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester’s Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner, and works in close partnership with the emergency services, Village venues and door staff. Greater Manchester Police says that the presence of the Angels in the Village significantly reduces demand on policing services, allowing officers to respond more quickly to more incidents over the weekend.
As well as joining the Village Angels on patrol, mayoral contenders have agreed to take part in an LGBT Hustings event at the end of next month. The Great Debate – LGBT Hustings Mayoral Hustings will give members of Greater Manchester’s LGBT Community a chance to quiz candidates on everything from housing to crime. For further information visit http://lgbt.foundation/whats-on/