Appeal for Angels to patrol Oswestry's streets
A group of angels could be on the streets of Oswestry before Christmas to help revellers.
Volunteers from in and around the town are needed to set up a Street Angels group that will go onto the streets on Saturday nights.
They will help vulnerable people, offering bottles of water to those who may have had too much to drink, flip flops to replace high heels and even blankets.
They also hope to be offered an empty shop that could be used as a haven for those who need a place to take time out on a Saturday night or Sunday morning.
Organisers Tony Durnell and Glenn Perkins, say the international group Street Angels, which began in 2005 in Halifax, is similar to the Street Pastor organisation but was open to people of all beliefs.
"We would like to see an eclectic mix of the diverse communities of Oswestry join us," Mr Durnell said.
He said he and Mr Perkins had already had talks with local police officers, Oswestry CCTV and pubwatch.
Mr Durnell, chairman of Shropshire Crimestoppers and a former mayor of Shrewsbury, said he had links with Oswestry and believed the town would benefit from the Street Angels.
"We do not have a lot of time before Christmas but we are determined to get this off the ground," he said.
We will be offering safety, help, listening, caring, helping, anyone who is lost, vulnerable. We will be helping people who are struggling with depression, people with drinking problems, and people with drug problems.
"We are a multi-faith organisation, we need people who attend their church on a regular basis, and we need people who do not attend church at all. Street Angels are opening their doors to anyone who would like to volunteer to help make Oswestry a better place to enjoy a night out.
"We can and will make it work."
Street Angels will be based at Oswestry police station and West Mercia Police has also offered to give awareness and safety and first aid training to volunteers.
"The volunteers will be given radios that will keep them in contact with the CCTV headquarters," Mr Durnell said.
Volunteers must be over 18 years old and in good health. They will also have to go through a checking procedure.
"We are looking to recruit about 20 volunteers in readiness for Christmas. We would also love to hear from any local businesses who would be willing to become a sponsor for the project. We are starting this from nothing and any help we can get would be much appreciated."
"We want to see Oswestry be known as a place that people want to come to in the evening, where they can feel safe and enjoy a night out."
Anyone interested in helping should contact Mr Durnell on 10743 360 or join the group's Facebook page.