The Village Angels, the flagship project in LGBT Foundation’s community safety programme is well known not just in Manchester’s LGBT community, but across the United Kingdom. First established in 2011, our volunteers can be found every Friday and Saturday night in the Gay Village in Manchester from 9pm to 3am, wearing the hot pink uniforms for which they are renowned. In 2016, we piloted an expansion of the Angels programme - the Village Haven.The Village Haven is a night time safe haven for those too vulnerable to be out on the streets. Following the success of this pilot, the Village Haven became a permanent fixture of LGBT Foundation's community safety programme in 2017 working continually in tandem with the Village Angels. In 2017, we partnered with Smirnoff as part of their "We're Open" campaign to begin expanding the Village Angels nationally. Since 2011, the Village Angels and Haven programmes have helped nearly 100,000 people.
The work of the Village Angels is incredibly diverse and never the same two nights in a row. At times, the Village Angels will act as a mobile tourist information bureau, offering directions and information to people who have come out to enjoy the LGBT space. The Angels will also respond to serious incidents. These range from helping people to report crimes to responding to mental health crises and helping people who are alone and vulnerable to get home safely. The Village Angels will often be the first people on the scene when serious medical incidents occur in the Village, and will provide basic first aid and manage the incident until paramedics arrive.
Here you can see a video showing a typical night for our Angels volunteers
The Village Haven is a night time safe haven, which operates from 11pm to 5am every Friday and Saturday night in the Village in Manchester. Located in the Beacon at 45 Bloom Street, the Village Haven is a safe space for people who are unable to keep themselves safe to be supported to get home without coming to harm. This includes people who are vulnerable as a result of alcohol or drug consumption, or people who are highly distressed. This also includes people who may need to charge their phones to get home safely, or who have lost their belongings, and need to contact someone. Within the Village Haven, the volunteer team will work with individuals to assist them in whatever way they require to ensure that they get home safely. The Village Haven is a partnership project between LGBT Foundation, Serenity Security, and Barnabus (who have kindly allowed us to use the Beacon for the service).
Our programme would not have lasted so long and helped so many people without the involvement of our amazing community. If you would like to join our team, or even just help our team continue their work, there are two ways you can do this: